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I read with great interest Alex G's post about fly fishing and eventually fly tying. Seems like the logical progression.

You learn to cast a fly line, learn to fly fish and then you want to learn how to tie flies. And that's perfectly natural.

When I started fly fishing more years ago than I'd like to admit, I was determined to be a fly fisher and never a fly tier.

I don't want to be one of those guys, I told myself.

But a funny thing happened at the fly shop. I'd go in to buy two flies and leave with 22. Sixty bucks later I was grumbling as I drove home. When I arrived, I took a look at the flies and realized there might have been 10 cents in the hook and material.

Now, that got me thinking. I'll bet I can tie a 10-cent fly. Imagine all of the saving I'd realize over the next few years.

So, I went to my buddy, Pete Greenan, who is an excellent tier and asked him to teach me. Pete, a great teacher, had me tying simple patterns in no time. He had two vises and we'd tie a pattern side by side, step by step, until I got it right.

What I learned is all fly tying is learning how to put different materials on a hook. Once you learn that, you can most any fly.

So, I went out and bought a vise. I bought a three bobbins, a bodkin, scissors, dubbing tool, whip finisher, head cement, saddle hackles, neck hackles, a couple of bucktail, hooks, lead eyes, chenille, dubbing, wax and more of this and lot a that.

I tied flies. I tied whenever I had the time. And when I went to the fly shop, I was like a kid in a candy store.

I loved to visit fly shops in other areas because they inevitably had some different materials. Trout fly shops were particuarly neat. And I'd always walk out with a bag goodies.

My tying room at home is spacious and has room for my bench, desk and computer. The close is a perfect place to store materials. I have Rubber Maid boxes full of materials. There are boxes for bucktail, boxes for saddle hackles. There's another box for neck hackles. I have a box for synthetics and one for dubbing material. I have another for animal hair.

I have five drawers that are stuffed with epoxy and supplies, crystal chenniles, chenille, freshwaer tying supplies and popper stuff.

Needless to say, every nook and cranny is filled.

I got to thinking the other day when I was looking at all of the material I've accumulated over the years that I've put a whole lot of money into tying flies.

Then it dawned on me: To tie a 10-cent fly, you need at least $2,500 in materials and tools.

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Comment by Bill Purmort on December 23, 2013 at 11:44am

Steve,

What was that part of "Murphy's Law" you fill the space you occupy! If you are like me the only reason I don't have more stuff is that I don't have any more room to put it in.  The other realization is that after you acquire all the stuff, learn all the techniques for every kind of fly...both Fresh and Salt water...that you probably catch 90% of your fish on 6 flies!  Oh, we are a sick bunch...and thank for pointing it out.

 

Bill

 

Comment by David, aka, "McScruff" on December 23, 2013 at 11:42am

Thats not THE Steve Gibson, is it? He's also known as "Gibby," and has a lot of great patterns to his credit.

He knows whereof he speaks, if anyone does. It is, in the end, within all men to go from the sublime to the ridiculous. It's why we take simple exercise and turn it into bungee jumping with sharks while snowboarding down Everest with BigFoot. We simply cannot leave well enough alone.

I simply reckon there are far worse things I COULD spend my time and money on. Which reminds me...anybody want to buy a slightly used snowboard?

Comment by dick tabbert on December 23, 2013 at 10:30am

How true if your intention is to save money you'll need putting your attention towards some other means. If your tying for pleasure what a great way to get lost in your moments. I get pleasure from many means (hobbies) all I will admit are tension relievers and in today's world we all need something we can concentrate on and get lost in. I have a few things I love doing and sometime that can be a hindrance, it can affects excelling in others and we all want to be be great at what we do. Bottom line is hobbies are not cheap but some are cheaper than others but how can you put a price on sanity/relaxation. When your hobby is used for profit somehow at least for me it take something away from it I love making things slow and easy so that I can get lost much deeper in what I'm doing. BOTTOM LINE  HOBBIES ARE A GREAT THING EVERYBODY SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE.

Comment by Greg McWilliams on December 23, 2013 at 8:23am

A MUST READ for TIERS of all SKILLS!!!!!!! SO TRUE!!!!!!

Comment by Greg McWilliams on March 30, 2012 at 3:06pm

Jim, I used to be able to keep all my tying stuff in a shoe box!!!!! Now to go to a show or event I carry 2 brief cases!!!!!!! Break even, LOL, NEVER GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!

Comment by jim cosgrove on March 30, 2012 at 2:50pm

i have always said fly tying is a black hole.there is always something or the same stuff in a different color, it never ends.i figure i would have to tie about 50,000 flies to break even.

Comment by Greg McWilliams on March 30, 2012 at 2:31pm

Steve, I love reading this and rereading this!!!!!!!!!! Probably higher than that now since Steven Tyler is wearing hackles in his hair!!!!!!!! 

A TIMELESS READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Charles Singleton on November 23, 2008 at 7:42pm
SO true! I love the sensations of a BG on the other end, and nothing makes it better than knowing I duped her with something I tied with my own little, stubby fingers!

Oh! and shooter? I'm not getting close enough to 'em to find OUT if they can climb trees! :-D
Comment by shooter on November 23, 2008 at 4:48pm
well steve you summed it up quiet well ,between the gills and chinks,and tying flies to catch them ,well i do not want to thank about the money i have and will spend.
just that big thumper in the end of that leader,and the wine of the fly line when he makes a run.
thanks for a great post.


gators can't climb trees
Comment by Alex G. on November 19, 2008 at 1:57pm
OUTSTANDING POST! I've just begun tying flies as I've said, the amount of money I've spent on supplies would most likely make my wife cringe and then smack me upside the head, and I haven't even bought my own vice yet. But I enjoy it, and that makes it all worth it to me.

"Then it dawned on me: To tie a 10 cent fly, you need at least $2,500 in materials and tools."

that's my favorite line!

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