Colorado Fisherman Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering how many of you tie your own flies?  If you don't tie your own flies, where do you normally buy them at?

I initially thought that tying my own flies would save me some money, but that's usually not the case.  I normally can't enter a local fly shop without spending at least $30 a shot.  I now have so much stuff that I sometimes even forget what I have. 

I must confess though there is nothing more rewarding then catching a fish on a fly that you tied yourself!  I still remember it to this day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,656 Posts
I just recently started tying my own flies. But they are not good. But I'm working on it. I have made some zebra midges/black beauties that work ok. I buy 100% of my flies at local fly shops. I know I spend way more than if I bought them at sportsmans but you got to help out the little guys. The satisfaction of catching fish on a fly you tied is pretty good. The only braging rights I have is that I made a pattern myself that KILLS on the poudre. I thought about it for years and finally I tied it myself and took it out on the water. Man was I proud when a fish took it. Then another and another and another ect.... Oh and I'm not saying a thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Hatch hang in there on the tying. I took a class many years ago to get the feel of half hitches and thread coverage on the shank and i still struggle tying certain flies. The cool thing about tying is you can use your own little flair on your patterns. My chrino midges when from a thread body that was good for about 5 fish to a wire body which was good for about 8 fish to now a rubber body and i have yet to have a fish tear up. Midges, San juans and elk hair caddis's are so easy to tie with practice you'll wonder why you ever spent a couple bucks to buy them. My key to tying is find someone to tie with it's amazing how much quicker it goes when u have someone there to chat with. We should have a get together to share so secret patterns would be cool to see what everyone uses out there as there go to secret fly.

Fish
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I've been tying for two years now. The first year was one big learning curve . . .I begged everyone I knew who tied to get together with me and share their secrets. It really paid off and now I'm helping a couple newbies get going with some basic midges and buggers.

I totally agree about not really saving money by tying. I'm a lot better now about only replacing materials when I run out but I bet my initial investment on a vise, tools, and materials was over $1000. But it's such a fun hobby.

TP
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I've been tying flies, off and on for about 20 years and probably would be considered intermediate skill level. I learned from a rec center class from a very old guy named Dan up in Ft Collins. The class was a blast, most of the class tied better flies than Dan (I don't think he could see very well), but he taught us the basics very well. During one class, he suddenly stopped talking and kind of slumped in his chair. We all thought he had bought the big one, but one tap on his shoulder and he woke back up and just continued like nothing happened. What a guy he was and such good memories. I don't buy flies anymore, and I've recently begun tying a lot more. I look forward to this years TU clinic at the fairgrounds, I've gone the last two years and those guys treat you just like family and are so patient with answering questions. If you haven't been and are into tying, don't miss it.
 
B

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Used to dabble with tying but stopped some years back. Thinking about settin' the stuff up again in my son's room after he moves out. If I do, I'll get one of those lamps with a giant magnifying glass in it so I can see what the hell I'm doin'.
rocnesmonsta sir, Is that Confucius or you? :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
I'm tying now but used to buy from a place called Blueflycafe.com. GREAT PRICES!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,678 Posts
I used to tie quite a bit, but was so enthusiastic about it i soon built up a supply of flies no normal man would be able to fish in a lifetime. now i only tie as needed, mainly midges and stuff i fish on the north platte. those are easy ties, and can be tied for mere pennies..so why not?

I do gotta say though if you fish saltwater or salmon, tying is the way too go. you save alot of money there...i tie my own stuff like epoxy spoonflies, which would cost a ridiculous amount of money to buy. i also tie my own clousers, which would also cost me about 3 bucks a piece if i bought them, and i can tie up about two dozen for about 20 dollars or so.

I hate tying dry flies in bulk...so for hoppers and stuff like that i just buy them. im lazy, and hate messing with the materials. ill tie them on occasion, but usually ill just purchase some if i need them.

There is something to be said for sitting down at a vice and tying up a few patterns you like. its kind of like arts and crafts class as a kid, its fun and i do it for the mere enjoyment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Well unfortunately I had my fly tying bag stole out of my truck last year. I imagine the jackass thought he was scoring a nice camera until he opened the bag. So its been a slow road back to stocking up my tying supplies. I do find a lot of the experiments from teh past have saved me money from rebuying items that didnt work well for me. Man i hated buying necks though. Been really practicing on comparaduns I think slowly but surely I'm figuring out that wing. I'm like Rottal I don't tie foam flies or anything that takes longer than a couple minutes to tie. I havent tied a prince nymph in years so much easier to go to sportsmans and buy a few. But like someone said its so much better when you fool one one your own fly.


Fish
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
I tie my own, but haven't really tied much in awhile, because of a good stock and less fly fishing than I usually do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,144 Posts
I used to do a lot more tying but it has fizzled off. The pain of losing a fly I'd spent 30 minutes tying in a tree branch or whatever overcame the joy of catching fish with my homemade fly :'(

I do have a few somewhat tongue-in-cheek lessons that worked for me:

1) Don't tie the complicated little tiny ones, but buy them at blueflycafe.com (as mentioned above) and it will save you frustration

2) Look for and tie unique patterns that you can't buy, also experiment with brand new creations

3) Tie 10 of the same pattern at a time and by the 10th fly you will actually do a pretty good job of it

4) Use a rolltop desk for your flytying setup (especially if you have kids or pets) -- if you want to pause and come back just slide open the rolltop and you are back where you left off!

I would actually like to get back into this at some point, but I think that lack of time is still the big issue for me and probably others. On the other hand, the stats say that I've spent over 19 days on this board so what do I know...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
I'm a little ashamed to admit this.My wife ties my flies for me.She is very adept at arts&crafts.So when she suggested it,I told her fine with me.The very first one she did was a huge woolybooger-I called it a snickers bar-caght many trout and is too chewed up to use now.How proud of her I was tho for her dedication to my hobby. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Ken Broeren said:
There is a fly tying expo at the Jeffco Fairgrounds today...I've heard it's a good one - but I have not been there myself.
I went yesterday to the West Denver TU tying clinic.

imo, it's much better, albeit a different animal, than the two expos. Noone's trying to sell anything except great tying tips and raffle tix that help the fly fishing community.

Watched Charlie Cravens do his thing. His few remarks about his technique, tying tips, types of flies he ties for the shop, etc., the guy knows his stuff. Watched him tie a Charlie Boy hopper.

Surveyed, out of curiosity, the vises as to which were used the most there, etc. Renzetti by a good margin, seemed like. Regals, Dyna Kings, even a couple Nor vises.

I was also curious about the rotary vises, especially in comparison to the Nor Vise, which I think is pretty neat and kinda found that rotaries aren't necessarily the vise to get. Larry Kingrey, Royal Gorge Anglers tier/guide, said he ties around 2500 dozen flies/yr and uses the rotary aspect in 4 patterns. Other guys mentioned they find themselves going with habit and winding rather than using the rotary aspect. I was kind of surprised to hear stuff like that.

Watched Mike Kulhawik tie with a Nor vise (he sells them and hexagraphs). He pretty much showed me the strengths of the Norvise, which is faster at spinning than rotaries, both forward and backward and spinning peacock onto thread, for instance. Pretty neat, but, again, a lot of people were saying you just don't tie that many patterns where those benefits make using the vise, or rotaries, for that matter, a big enough benefit to use that type of vise. Rotary use is more for a bit more convenience, being able to easily turn the fly for inspection from different angles, for instance.

After all, some said, what do you have a vise for? Holding the hook in place. And even a Thompson A, which I have, does that adequately (except for small flies).

I watched Dennis Collier tie some tube flies, Sue Armstrong demo the George Grant weaving technique, a bit of Pat Dorsey, several others that I can't remember their names, and all were a treat to watch.

I think my biggest treat was watching John Betts tying without a vise, just with his hands, like I have heard Lee Wulff used to do. John tied effortlessly, kind of similar to tying knots.... once you know how to do it, you just kind of know how to do it... He tied an old American wet fly pattern called a Jenny Lind, red feather, yellows and a lavendar duck wing. Pretty doggone neat fly.

John also informed me about how light creates the colors in peacock by the structure of the feather. A little beyond me but i followed him for the most part. This guy really knows tying, flies and history stuff.

John also told me about another tier, Michael Rogan, the father in a family of Irish tiers and his technique of particular placement of a series of different colors of thread, etc, that produced particular color shadings. I'm going to google Rogan to see what that's all about.

There was a very good turnout and a whole bunch of tiers. To me, this was a pure fly fishing/tying event and I hope to go again next year. I would encourage any of you who enjoy this type of event to go also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,144 Posts
rstrouts,

Thanks for the extensive report! Looks like an event worth attending and I would be interested to know the dates of the next one...

Cheers,
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Go early I guess. I went about 1:30 and I guess the guys were tired. Lot of vacant vices and many seemed to be talking more than tying. Did see a couple of techniques that will really help though. Was at Charlie's table where the guy was trying to show how to tie tube flys. A guy walked up and started debating why a tube fly made no sense for probably 15 minutes or more. I give credit to the tier - he was pretty patient (me, not so much). Wonder why he didn't just skip to a table where someone was tying something that made sense to him- don't know but he sure wasted some time for guys that wanted to learn something. Guess when you know it all, it's hard to be understanding of those of us that don't. It was a pretty good event- only saw one outfitter advertising and it was just a slide show running on a laptop. Guy from Littleton with the Norvise close to the stage was fun. Better get off of this so they can call me and let me know where to pick up my spoils from the raffle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I don't tie - yet - I plan to take it up this year.

As for where I buy flies, I tried blueflycafe.com, but much prefer the flies from flydealer.com. That's where I buy most of mine now, at least the primary ones I want to stock up on. And if someone at a shop recommends a particular fly, I usually buy a couple. And I definitely buy a few at the shop if I stopped in for current conditions on their local water - no need to start the day with bad karma.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
glassfishin it's funny because I was near the table at the same time I believe.  Was it the same guy who didin't understand why saltwater patterns were tied on a short shank hook?

If so, this dude needs to get a life!!  Also, I didn't see him tying anywhere that day!

I had a great time watching Charlie tie though.  Man can that guy just rip off pattern after pattern!!  Maybe some day I can tie like that?  Probably not, but something to look for in the future.

Lastly, thanks to all who shared where they buy their flies.
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
work2fish said:
rstrouts,

Thanks for the extensive report!  Looks like an event worth attending and I would be interested to know the dates of the next one...

Cheers,
I've been to t he clinic the last 3 years now and it seems like its always either the first or second weekend in February. I always pick up some tips that are very helpful and most of the tiers are willing to answer a lot of stupid questions. The guy from Blue Quill, I think his name was Pat Dorsey is always there tying the golden stonefly and is quite a complicated fly. Another tier, his name was Greg showed me how to tie in hairwings and keep them from pulling out. After you tie in the wing, cinch it down pretty well, then pull about 25 % of the butts back and tie that down, then the next 25 % and tie them down, etc. until all butts are tied. clip the butts close and wrap over them to cover at the head. You will never lose those hairwings again.
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
BigRedFan- that was the guy! I just figured it out- tubes don't make sense, short hooks don't make sense---he's a LONG hook salesman!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top