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Thread: Purchasing trout flies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Merrimac, MA

    Default Purchasing trout flies

    I've just returned from the New Jersey Fly Fishing Show, was amazed to see all of the tyers (some very, very nice products) and wanted to ask where most of you would go to purchase a fly; if you decided that a purchase was warranted. I've been religously buying flies from my local Fly Shop, have had a good selection to choose from and have not been disappointed with the performance of the flies. But, I see prices that vary from $0.24/fly to over $2.00/fly. In general, I've always found that you get what you pay for, but I wanted to ask if there were particular fly suppliers; particularly online suppliers, that you might consider going to.

    Also, any feedback on the Waterwisp flies? Seems like an interesting innovation, but I understand that they've been around for some time now and I don't see them in many fly shops (?)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Purchasing trout flies

    There is nothing more rewarding than catching fish on flies you tied yourself. I have never bought a fly and don't think I ever will. It is a great way to fill a cold winter evening, It is to cold for me to fish for 3 to 4 months every winter and it fills a viod and helps pass the time til spring. Plus you can experiment and tie stuff you will never see in a shop. If i were to buy flies I would think that most local shops would have stuff that works good in the local area.
    I don't always fly fish but when I do I prefer salt water. Stay salty my freinds

  3. #3

    Default Re: Purchasing trout flies

    I have just begun to tie my own flies and I don't know the rest of you, but it can be frustrating and time consuming to tie some patterns. I spent about four hours today tying flies and ended up with about a dozen which look good, and about 4 that look like ****. I'm sure that it's my beginner fly tying skills, but 4 flies per hour ain't much more exciting than watching paint dry. Part of that is just me learning the processes of tying and figuring out what I like a fly to look like, of course, and compared to buying them for $2/fly, I do think it was worth it and actually fun when the flies came out looking like they're suppsoed to. I do like to support local outfitters as much as possible, but a lot of the creeks I fish have enough brushy overhang that $2 per fly can mean as much as a $10 loss of investment per trip and I just don't think that flies should cost me that much.

    On the other hand, when I want to take a lot of days off work per week to go fly fishing, that can mean that when I have free time at home, fiddling around tying flies often isn't the most productive use of my time. It can be a lot easier to simply find an online store to buy flies cheap. For instance, let's say my time is worth $50 per hour (it isn't), then spending an hour per week tying six flies, maybe I save $11 over buying flies at a local outfitter, but I still come out at negative $39...if you want to look at it that way.

    Also, there are many fly patterns that I (and this could be my inexperience tying talking) simply don't want to mess around with, either due to complexity or due to some special material that I don't have. For this, I have found that Blue Fly Cafe has well tied flies for about $0.70-0.80 each (less expensive if you buy more than 6). I have bought about 40-50 flies from them and one has come apart so far, but I've had flies tied by my local outfitter come apart too (keep in mind this was after fishing with them for a while in both cases). You're probably right in that you get what you pay for, but on the whole I've been pleased with the flies I've bought from them.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Purchasing trout flies

    I have to agree with jimw here as nothing surpasses catching a fine trout on a fly that you have created yourself makes it all worth the while and fills those cold hours of winter and your flybox as well. Where abouts in the Pocono's do you live there are many good fly shops in the area with reasonable prices and you will get the pattern's you need for the near by streams.

    Allen Landheer
    Fly fishing is not for everyone..
    -Fly fishing since 1971-

  5. #5

    Default Re: Purchasing trout flies

    i started tying flies a couple of years ago but it just hasn't captured my imagination. i tie a relatively recognizable elk hair caddis and black parachute ant, need to learn a pheasant tail nymph, have tied (EASY) bunny leeches for one bass trip. i think if i can get 2 more trout patterns learned including an adams, i will be ok. my time is valuable and i find i'm just not that interested in the task. at least not right now. i have so many other things i value for spending my time. and i'm also liking the idea of minimalizing my gear. so i don't feel the need to expand my stock of patterns for the waters i fish. the fish are too eager anyway! :-)

    but i do understand the draw for catching with ones flies. see, i wrap my own rods and MUCH prefer that craft.

    i try to buy from my local shop, which is actually a small section of a larger local general sporting goods mainstay in town, with only one location in town. since i need to budget tightly, i also sometimes turn to online vendors. i've tried ebay and though there are some good options out there, i have also received crappily tied and designed flies at times. i prefer some fly-only online offerings, away from ebay. hillsdiscountflies is one, troutflies is another i like, keeping an eye out for their seasonal specials).

    when i first started, i found that losing flies was an absolute given and basically just sucked it up. after losing many $2 flies at the beginning which i bought in my local shop, i found that an increased "skill" in casting was incredibly beneficial, at least financially. if you're a beginner, and lose flies, keep at it and you'll find you'll lose less as experience and skill increases. now i rarely lose flies, but then again, i rarely nymph, usually fishing dries from june through october.

    fresno, ca.

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