Who Ties Their Own Flies?



  • Fish throughout the Pacific Northwest are, as of today, no doubt experiencing a disturbance in the Force. My wife encouraged me to pick up components to tie my own flies, so pick them up I did. Gonna start (in prep for the Spring) with a Beaded Pheasant Tail Nymph, and if that doesn't sound intimidating to you...then, I guess you're not a trout with me stalking you!

    I have a few months to get this dialed in, and can't wait to hit the rivers and streams in 2020.

    Any of you tie your own flies?



  • Not me. The bead head nymphs are very effective in the sierra. My go to fly in the sierra is an olive/gold bead head. I bubble and fly fish.



  • In the 1980's when I was both avidly fishing & a starving sales-rep, I tied most of my own flies. Then I discovered the Bob Ward's chain of general sporting goods stores in Montana sold flies better than mine for $0.65 each. Then one of their buyers I worked with mentioned their sales reps got a 40% discount on stuff they carried. I quit tying when I could buy flies for $0.39 each, with no sales tax. I finally sold my old tying gear & hackles on EBay about 5 years back & broke even. Now, of course, I can buy cheap flies on the internet.

    But fly-tying is a good discipline & sometimes you can tie what no manufacturer makes, & match a local hatch better.

    Olive Wooly Bugger. My big fish, late fall, spring-creek fly & a 26" Rainbow that left a torpedo-like wake as he charged it.
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  • @Moose said in Who Ties Their Own Flies?:

    Any of you tie your own flies?

    I don't tie my own flies, but sometimes I drive my own car to the local butcher shop/fish monger and almost always come home with something.



  • David: In the last century, I figured out that I liked buying my fish at a good grocery store. Catching trout is fun, but cleaning them, carrying them home, washing the hard to get off fish smell off my hands, & then eating them, wasn't nearly as much fun.

    One of the problems with living in South Idaho, is the closest good grocery store, with good fresh fish is 90 miles away.



  • @FritzRay said in Who Ties Their Own Flies?:

    One of the problems with living in South Idaho, is the closest good grocery store, with good fresh fish is 90 miles away.

    Well, we have problems here on the BC coast, too. But a lack of fresh seafood isn't one of them.



  • @David-Harris said in Who Ties Their Own Flies?:

    Well, we have problems here on the BC coast, too. But a lack of fresh seafood isn't one of them.

    Understatement of the month.



  • @FritzRay I hear you. We've got lots of great fresh seafood here in Seattle, of course, but I just love being out there with my son or some friends, the surroundings, the meditative nature of flyfishing, the excitement of the strike, and the taste of fresh trout fried up in bacon grease and flour, or cornmeal.

    And fish is definitely gonna smell, whether you buy it or catch it.



  • Trout caught from clear lakes and streams, even stockers, taste better to me than store bought. May be psychological.



  • Well, I've tied my first fly: a bead head pheasant tail nymph. It looks a bit like it's already battle-hardened, but I'm gonna give it a go this Spring. The guy at the local fly shop said, "Oh, I'd fish that!" Of course, they really are a bunch of nice guys, so maybe he was being generous.

    Either way...huge props to those who can tie many varieties with any speed at all. This thing took me nearly an hour!

    nymph.jpg



  • I did a bunch of fly fishing when I was a kid. Was a blast. Tied flies and wrapped a few rods, ended up rebuilding a couple split bamboo rods, which was a bit of fun. I fished mostly bass using deer hair bugs, but there's steelhead in the river where I grew up. Had some luck with wooly buggers and egg flies. Fished trout when I could. Best all-round fly I'd ever used was an Adams in different sizes and variations. Like fish candy



  • @Moose said in Who Ties Their Own Flies?:

    Well, I've tied my first fly: a bead head pheasant tail nymph. It looks a bit like it's already battle-hardened, but I'm gonna give it a go this Spring. The guy at the local fly shop said, "Oh, I'd fish that!" Of course, they really are a bunch of nice guys, so maybe he was being generous.

    Looks good to me. It'll get you a couple.



  • Thanks, johntp!

    I'm about 7 nymps in, and with my climbing fingers...the detail work is challenging! Here's my latest, which I think is getting about where I want them:

    fly.JPG



  • So... fishing? Fish? Or only fly-tying.

    If you don't mind expanding things a bit to the general subject of fish and fishing, here's a question for you (and if you do mind, then fu... no, sorry, then I'll delete)

    I think almost all who post here are from the US. But as the token Canadian, who has been fishing since... hmmm... over 60 years now, but never with flies... and who has barely been able to waddle to the computer after a fine dinner, I wonder if any of you are familiar with Salvelinus alpinus. I think that translates roughly to "alpine salmon", which should make it appropriate to a fishing thread on a climbing forum.

    Arctic char. Never saw it available in the 20 years I lived in Seattle, but we can often buy it in the supermarkets here. (Here being the BC coast).

    It's a salmon/trout relative, native to the entire circumpolar region. But in addition to the anadromous lifestile of the Arctic shores, it also lives in northern rivers and lakes in Canada, Russia,, and Scandinavia. I think it also could be found in northern England, Ireland, and Wales, but is mostly gone from there.

    Anyway, while I won't pretend it is quite as good as fresh-caught King Salmon from some Alaskan river you never heard of (and had to pay a million dollars a pound for), it is one of my favorite fish.



  • David: I think I know your Arctic char from a few high lakes in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains. After a rich history, dating back to the 1920's, the Idaho Fish & Game Dept. spends taxpayer money flying baby fish into high mountain lakes, that for the most part, do not offer "sustainable fisheries." Which is to say, the lakes offer no place for the fish to spawn & produce future generations.

    But it gets done to promote tourism & only a few Ludite whiners chose to "carp" about it.

    We found Arctic Grayling, which look like Arctic Char, but have a slight genitic difference, in a somewhat scenic lake under this peak, back in 2009. We caught a few, but. per our "catch & release" ways, we let them go.

    Sawtooths 2009 020.-small.jpg

    Me, playing a Char/grayling.

    Sawtooths 2009 034-crop.jpg


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