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Thread: material for flies?

  1. Default material for flies?

    Hey everyone,

    I am new to fly fishing. Just picked it up since my father inlaw is taking me on a fishing trip in Idaho. I have to say, it is a blast! So of course I get hooked and am trying to build up my fly boxes.

    I quickly realized that is not the cheapest thing in the world, but I am in no way ready to start tying. I am a hunter so I can get a lot of natural material from wood duck feathers to buck tails.

    So my question, is there a barter market for materials? What kind of raw materials would you guys be willing to trade for a couple doxen flies, etc?

    thanks,

    lost

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: material for flies?

    Fly tying and accumulating materials can be fun but it also can be addictive. You might be better off picking a couple patterns, buy or trade for those materials, tie up a bunch until you get real proficient at that pattern and then move to the next pattern that would work in your area. The issue is that it seems like every new fly that comes out has been made with material you don't have so the compulsion is to rush out and get that material. As your stash gets bigger you will find ways to substitute s you don't have to have every type of material known to man. One source for cheap materials is craft stores another is EBay, but the best way like you stated earlier is hunting. Have fun learning to tie!

    Larry

  3. Default Re: material for flies?

    I am not looking to start tying, I want to barter materials for flies.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: material for flies?

    Quote Originally Posted by lostsailor View Post
    I am not looking to start tying, I want to barter materials for flies.
    Sorry, I misunderstood what you were asking!

    Larry

  5. #5
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    Default Re: material for flies?

    Lost sailor-

    welcome, great to hear you're into fly fishing. You’ll probably be able to find some folks that will swap you some flies for materials.

    A couple things that tyers will look for:
    -materials need to be bug free
    -anything on the skin whether from bird or mammal needs to be cured- not necessarily tanned, salt/borax is OK, but definitely not green or greasy
    -there are also some possible complications for stuff like migratory gamebirds (waterfowl for sure and maybe stuff like woodcock?) See part J in this link:
    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_20...0cfr20.100.pdf

    Trading stuff like feathers from other legal game birds like pheasant, turkey is fine, and fur and hair from most other legally taken critters is ok like deer, elk, antelope, coyote, fox, etc (but also check your state's hunting/trapping for restrictions on body parts taken animals even if they are taken legally-- not sure if this applies to any fur/hair/hides but I know some states have rules against possession/trade/sale of stuff like bear gall bladders etc and sale/trade of horns from big horn sheep etc, so there might be on more uncommon stuff in your state even though it might be legal to hunt (wolf, cougar?)

    And personal possession of legally taken migratory game bird feathers or skins by anyone for the purpose of tying flies is OK.

    But selling or offering for trade feathers or skins from birds covered as migratory game birds is not permitted although they can be given away, and posting an actual offer for trade for these feathers/skins on an internet forum could potentially get you in trouble down the road.

    That said, wood duck flank feathers are highly prized by tyers a free gift of some would likely be appreciated with some good kharma at a minimum…

    But where direct arrangements for sale/barter of migratory birds are illegal, direct arrangements in return for stuff like pheasant, chukar, and grouse feathers/skins, turkey feathers, and tails, hides with fur or hair from game animals or legally taken furbearers is cool.

    What you might also want to do, is to browse through an online fly tying catalog to get a sense of what different stuff is used for, and to get an idea of the going retail prices knowing that realistically you’ll get some what less to have an idea whether it’s even worth the trouble to put it up (some stuff is probably not, some stuff probably is).

    Chris Helm, a guy that runs Whitetail Fly Tieing carries a wide range of hides and furs as well as skins and feathers. You can download his catalog from his main page as a PDF -- it would be a good resource for you to get a ball park idea of what's used for what, and to get a sense of the retail value of different bits:
    Whitetail Fly Tieing - Chris Helm

    And..... the winters are long in Idaho- so now that you’re into fly fishing, think about taking up tying too. It’s cool to catch something on a fly you tied--- but doing it on a fly you tied from an animal you harvested must be even cooler since you’ll have the whole circle of life thing going on.
    Last edited by peregrines; 09-10-2010 at 01:33 PM.
    Mark

  6. Default Re: material for flies?

    I thought under 20.91 I am good to barter trade the feathers of mig birds? That is how I read it

    As far as furs, I can sell furs, I just need my fur trader permit. Again, that is how I read the rules.

    Why do I feel like I need a lawyer in my back pocket for ever decision I make

  7. #7

    Default Re: material for flies?

    Quote Originally Posted by lostsailor View Post
    I thought under 20.91 I am good to barter trade the feathers of mig birds? That is how I read it
    You read it correctly. Simply stay away from (a) (millinery and ornamental) and (b) (mounted specimens) and stick to "for making of fishing flies".

  8. Default Re: material for flies?

    hey guys I have wood duck flank feathers (barred and unbarred), chukar flank feathers barred, and pheasant tails and capes

    wood duck cape and a collar

    squirrel, deer and groundhog furs

    anyone need these?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: material for flies?

    Hi Sailor,

    Wood Duck is used for wings and tails on lots of flies. Where the problem arises is that a fly tier can buy enough Woody to tie a bunch of flies for under 20 dollars. Tying enough fies to pay for the feathers may not work out for the tier.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  10. Default Re: material for flies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
    Hi Sailor,

    Wood Duck is used for wings and tails on lots of flies. Where the problem arises is that a fly tier can buy enough Woody to tie a bunch of flies for under 20 dollars. Tying enough fies to pay for the feathers may not work out for the tier.
    so are you saying guys wouldn't want to trade flies for materials??

    How many wood duck feathers do you need to tie some flies? I usually see packs of dyed mallard feathers to look like wood duck feathers for $5 for a pack of 4-5 feathers.

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