You'll get there, bud. It's like anything, just practice and don't get discouraged if a fly doesn't turn out the way you wanted it. Believe me, you are gonna be your biggest critic. One of the beauties of nowadays is there are so many more learning tools available such as YouTube. Another thing is do not wear yourself out by practicing on the same pattern time and time again. Mix it up with different flies. Remember, the fish are the ultimate judges. If you can catch fish on em, they are good enough
Edit: One last word of advice. Learn to tie only for what species you fish for. I mean, unless you plan on going into business, if you do not fish for bass, don't worry about learning to tie bass bugs. If you do not fish for salmon, don't worry about learning to tie salmon flies. Tie flies that are effective for your area and you'll do fine
I find it is very difficult for me to tie all my flies with high discounts on the internet for nicely tied flies and to stock on the materials. I am only tying 3-4 patterns in the tenkara flies, pine squirrel leeches, bully spiders and gartside gurglers.
The therapeutic value I reap when I tie flies is priceless. The ritual involved in tying is beautiful to me. Buying flies is just a purchase of a good which is fine but it's not the same. If I go into a new shop I like to buy a logo hat or t-shirt instead of flies.
I can tie flies, but find that I don't have the patience that would entail me sitting down for a couple hours and knocking out two dozen or more flies. Too much Red Food Dye #2 as a kid, I guess. Seriously, I am envious of those who do just that, tie for a couple hours a day, though. I would like to say I'm too busy with two kids, but that'd be a lie. I could find the time if I wanted to. I end up tying some of the flies that I don't usually see at the shop that I've become accustomed to using and some easy and quick ties like EHC's, PT nymphs or GRHE's, but have never tried to tie up an Adams, for example. One day...
Tie, It was the first part of fly fishing learned. Its not possable for me to thank enough the healing waters volunteers who have freely given of thier time and knowledge, just home from another surg and I know tying is all ill be able to do for the next few weeks, but when the light at the end of the tunnel seems too dim to see I can turn on the light on my tying desk and its bright enough. To those of you that support healing waters I cant say thanks long or loud enough, you probably do not know the magnitude of what you do.
There is just something about catching a fish on something you created. What I really love is when I can tie something for somebody else and they catch fish with it. It just makes the world feel right.
I love to tie flies, but have discovered over the past few years that I enjoy it a lot more when I'm actually in the "mood" to do it...makes sense huh? I have some incredibly gifted friends who tie amazing flies and quite frequently pass along samples of their latest creations. I'm what I'd call an intermediate tier- been at it a while, but far from professional level. I own/fish quite a few flies that I've tied myself...also have quite a few that have been special gifts from friends...and also a number that have caught my eye and I've purchased either online or in a store. A big fish is special no matter what- but its really meaningful (in my opinion) when that fish was fooled by a fly from a good friend.
You know how they say those beautifully detailed and tied flies in the shops with their sparkling wing cases and everything are really to catch fishermen? That's not an issue with any that I tie. Mine are the simplest danged things I can come up with. Nothing size 18 or smaller's going to have a wing case put on unless it's integral to the fly, such as a Barr's Emerger. I use tubing all I can for bodies, don't put wings on my dries or wets. When I look up a pattern on the 'Net and someone has given instructions for a "guide fly", that is something a good tier can whip up in seconds, that's the one I go for.
The reason is not because I think those details are stupid and I'm smarter than the average guy tying flies. I like to go to the "What have you tied lately?" forum here and look at everybody's masterpieces. It's just that I have what I think is called medically an "essential tremor". That is, my hands tremble slightly all the time. It's a family trait. It's not enough of a problem to do anything about it, but it makes me just a LITTLE clumsy with small motor details. For example, I don't think I ever get the tails on a RS2 splayed very nicely. I just can't seem to do it. For that reason I just don't put anything on a fly unless I'm convinced it's absolutely necessary. That's what I do!
I started tying to support my fascination with classic winged wet flies and soft hackles including ancient North Country spiders and modern Allen McGee style soft hackles. I wasn't able to find silver Invicta,. Woodcock and Hare's ear, and Whickham's Fancies in the fly shops. Davy Wotton Wet Fly Tying DVD opened up a universe of wet flies to me. By applying myself to the techniques he presented, I can tie any wet fly for which the materials are still legal. It has been a great journey made even more fun by A. Courtney Williams great book A Dictionary of Trout Flies, recommended by Wotton. That and Allen McGee's books and Sylvester Nemes books and Hughes' book on wet flies coupled with my imagination has kept me in flies and fish with nary a glance at the fly bins in any shop. I also tie tube and shank steelhead and trout Spey flies. I am pressed to tie nymphs and (sigh) mop flies by my darling wife. She fishes the most garish modern flies under an indicator to great effect. While Gorgeous racks up the numbers, I stick to what I love for my own fishing, swinging wets. To my great delight, tying has become almost as relaxing as the fishing. Now I am never without a Silver Invicta (a.k.a. Silver Knicker) or a Black and Silver spider. I even caught a 20 lb carp on a #16 snipe and purple once! Great fun. Save money?? Certainly not. Tying is good for my soul and infuses my fishing with charming patterns from past and present. Indicator? Not for me, though I'm not judging those who love em' like Gorgeous. Got to tie, she wants more mop flies in Chartreuse.... Yuck.
I tie 80% of my flies, but I like to purchase new patterns so I can see how they should be tied. Looking at how other people tie flies helps give me inspiration and ideas for new designs. In regards to the guest post about, that's the main reason I tie flies. Buying flies can get pricey quick especially at some of these saltwater fly shops.