When it comes to tying materials, it pays to fish for deals
A great untruth has been told to generations of fly anglers. And even though this deception arose from the best of intentions—to encourage people to take up fly tying—it’s time to come clean: tying your own flies won’t save you money.
Well, make that probably won’t. If you only tie a handful of patterns that you use (and lose) a lot, such as Woolly Buggers or Clouser Deep Minnows, you can purchase just a few materials and fabricate flies for a quarter of their retail price. But that’s not how it usually goes. Once you get into tying flies, you tend to accumulate stuff, often shelling out for materials that will take years to use up. So while tying your own flies is immensely rewarding on many levels, breaking even is a more realistic monetary goal than saving a few bucks.
As always, fly-fishing shops remain an excellent source of information and advice, and the only place to get quality fly-tying tools and premium materials. But if you’re thrifty and enjoy scavenging and improvising, you can break even on your materials a little faster by seeking out bargains from non-traditional sources…