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Thread: Buying flies on a budget...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lawrence,KS / Camden,ME May-Aug
    Posts
    13

    Default Buying flies on a budget...

    Hello everyone! I'm very new to fly fishing and have been acquiring my gear over the past year. Last summer my in-laws started a new business in Maine and my wife and I are hoping to visit for a month or two since she is a teacher and I work from home due to health issues, so I should hopefully get s lot of time on the water...

    I think I have most of the essential gear but now it's time to figure out which flies I need. In a perfect world I'd buy from a local fly shop when we arrive, but I know I can't afford to buy all my stuff there. I'm hoping to spend some time in the shop getting to know the guys there and possibly take a fly casting class if it's not too costly.

    Anyways, I was wondering where the best place online or otherwise is to buy well-made cheap flies? I'm going to try and go out fishing daily if possible so how many should I have to start off with? And how many types should I attempt to get?

    Sorry if this is not permitted (just let me know if it's not), but if anyone has any old, beat up, junky flies they want to get rid of and sell for cheap please let me know! I'm really on a tight budget from past hospital bills and don't have a lot to offer right now but my birthday is in a week and should have a little to spend.

    Thanks!

    ---------- Post added at 11:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:26 PM ----------

    I forgot, I also wanted to ask if tying your own flies is a wise investment to save money or is it about the same as buying them tied already?

    And if this is a route to look at, what does a basic setup consist of and what will it all cost?

    Also,I have big hands and pretty clumsy fingers... is it hard to tie such tiny objects or is it easier than it looks?

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Coolidge, AZ
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Buying flies on a budget...

    If your interested I could tie you 40 for $20 + $3 shipping to cover the cost of good tiemco hooks and hackle. Just thought I would throw that out there in case you were interested.

    Would also help to know what sort of waters you want to fish- small streams, larger rivers, etc....

  3. #3

    Default Re: Buying flies on a budget...

    What part of KS you in? Overland Park has K&K and they make a lot of the flies they sell and are good quality.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Pennsylvania by God
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Buying flies on a budget...

    Yes tying flies is an ivestment well worth the money because the only well tied cheap flies are the ones you tied. Buy yourself a good fly tying kit with instructions booklet or cd. There are many on the market and there is no black magic to it just some terminology and attention to detail you must learn. My first flys looked like alien insects but the fish ate em. They now look somewhat like to pattern but I'm not the sheep herd type. You will take pride in the first fish you fool,hook,play and land on the fly YOU tied. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid questios only stupid answers..



    Charlie
    There is nothing like Wild Trout ,Timber Rattlers and Cowboy coffee.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan
    Posts
    3,001

    Default Re: Buying flies on a budget...

    Hey crohnie31,

    If you check out the "Personal Classifieds," you'll see that I'm offering the "Triple D Collection"- 3 dozen+ flies --packed into a new 10-compartment fly box for $25 shipped First-Class with delivery confirmation. If you need them more quickly, there is an option of USPS Priority Mail delivery for $30. And, I can work with you on setting up your selection for the areas in which you'll be fishing.

    If you're interested, shoot me your e-mail address and I'll fire off some photos for your consideration... Jerry, aka hairwing530

    Oh, and since it will be a birthday present, I'll toss in a few additional flies, some that are personal favorites of mine...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Michigan's U.P.
    Posts
    2,345

    Default Re: Buying flies on a budget...

    Some ideas on what you might want to pick up; but, I'm sure other flies will also work. HATCHES

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Anthem, AZ
    Posts
    1,081
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Buying flies on a budget...

    there are numerous threads about budget flies, I'd do a search were I you. My favorite right now is Flystop.com, but there are many others, and everyone has their favorite.

    As for number of different patterns, for myself, I'd start around 6. Three or four subsurface patterns and two or three dry. For example:

    Black or brown wooley bugger and/or same colors simi seal leeches

    some kind of beadhead nymph such as hare's ear, pheasant tail, copper john, etc. in sz 16 or 18

    same type of nymph as above but without beadheads

    clouser or zonker minnow

    An Adams variant (I tend towards parachutes, but this is fielder's choice)

    Stimulator/humpy

    It's pretty well established that these kinds of flies will work almost anywhere in the U.S. Of course, it would be great if you could find a source of information in Maine concerning the actual waters you'd be fishing, but some combination of the above will probably work.

    I have what I call my "New Water" box, which usually contains this assortment:

    6-8 BH black crystal buggers #6
    6-8 BH brown simi seal leeches # 8
    6-8 olive beadhead hare's ear #16
    6-8 BH prince nymphs #16
    6-8 BH zugbugs #14
    6-8 black copper johns #18
    6-8 pheasant tails #18
    2-4 clousers #6 white/olive
    2-4 clousers #6 white chartreuse
    2-3 zonker minnows white
    6-8 para-Adams #16 (or #18 if I know the water's clear and shallow)
    6-8 para-BWO #16 (ditto above)
    6-8 yellow hoppers #10
    6-8 orange rubber legged stimulators #16
    6-8 yellow stimulators #14

    Naturally, I switch different patterns in and out, depending on expected conditions, but most of these are there. Everyone probably has a different take on this, but the point is that I planned a specific assortment of flies to cover the water from top to bottom, stillwater, or moving, which should give me a shot at some hits from freshwater fish regardless of where I am in the U.S.

    Note: I go fewer numbers and more colors on flies like leeches, buggers, and CJs as they tend to last longer. Dries tend to last only a couple of fish before they either snap off or get torn up. And the hoppers are in there because they are my 'goto' fly and I can't hit the water without them.

    Anyway, that's about 78 flies I think, and at the flystop, that comes to about 48 bucks.


    Hope that helps.

    Peace.

    P.S. I've been tying for about four years now, and I like tying for a variety of reasons. One of them is definitely NOT saving money. At this point I probably have at least $700 invested in fly tying including vise, materials, tools, etc. and have tied somewhere north of 1000 flies. If you figure the average cost of just materials per fly, I haven't even broken even, and probably won't until sometime in 2017. And that assumes not buying any more materials, which is about as likely as a Bigfoot para-sailing through my bedroom window sometime in the next 40 years.

    I primarily tie flies that I can't find in the stores that I feel work better than anaything I've found in the stores so far. Things like my magnum Deep Purple simi seal leeches with tungsten beadheads. The things probably cost .70 cents just in materials, nevermind time spent. So the short answer to your question is no, tying will not save you any money. But it's fun, pulls you deeper into the obsession of fly fishing, and sometimes you find one of your creations is a 'goto' fly.

    Also, I'm sure I have around a hundred flies I could give you. Pm me with your address and I'll find some time in the week or so and see if I can hunt them up and get them out to you.

    Peace.

    Whoops, totally forgot about the cost of buying my first tying desk, then building the second. Call it $800. Might be 2020 before I get even.
    Last edited by rangerrich99; 03-05-2013 at 11:01 PM.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

  8. Likes baseman1, crohnie31 liked this post
  9. #8

    Default Re: Buying flies on a budget...

    The Yen to Bugslinger's yang.....

    I disagree with the idea that tying your own is a good 'investment'.... It is a good hobby to compliment your fly fishing, but if you are doing it for the economic benefits, you will learn to hate the art of tying. 'Art' will quickly become 'chore'

    Over time, I suppose you will be ahead-- but for a beginner (You may or may not stick with the sport) you lose. $100.00 for a good vise (I know there ARE less expensive) will buy a lot of flies. Hooks are cheap until you realize that you need 10 different styles of hook in 5 sizes each..... We haven't even talked about materials to go on the hooks....

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Cheyenne, WY by way of SD
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: Buying flies on a budget...

    sierra trading post has flies very cheap right now. starting out at 5.00/ dozen and going up to about 7.00/dozen. I am about to put in an order

  11. #10

    Default Re: Buying flies on a budget...

    Quote Originally Posted by crohnie31 View Post
    Anyways, I was wondering where the best place online or otherwise is to buy well-made cheap flies? I'm going to try and go out fishing daily if possible so how many should I have to start off with? And how many types should I attempt to get?
    Hey crohnie, If I were you I would dial in what bugs you need for your trip and then have newby or hairwing set you up, sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

    Its really hard to say how many flies you will need, you'll figure that one out when you get there....but a few of each should get you started.


    Quote Originally Posted by crohnie31 View Post
    [/COLOR]I forgot, I also wanted to ask if tying your own flies is a wise investment to save money or is it about the same as buying them tied already?

    And if this is a route to look at, what does a basic setup consist of and what will it all cost?
    I don't know if it is the wise investment but if you are feeling that this is something you are going to be doing for the long haul, then I think that it could be looked at as an investment. Your investment relies on your interest, need and time. If you have lots of that you should be fine, it may take years for you to catch up but every year after that your saving. If your tying bench sits lonely and doesn't get attention then obviously its not much of an investment.

    The true investment comes with the "Pride" and sense of accomplishment that comes with catching fish on your own flies. Ultimately its an investment in you.


    Quote Originally Posted by crohnie31 View Post
    Also,I have big hands and pretty clumsy fingers... is it hard to tie such tiny objects or is it easier than it looks?

    Thanks again!



    Good Luck!

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