Thursday, February 22, 2018


To buy or to tie?  Ahhh, the question that fly fishers ask themselves when starting their fly fishing adventure.  So, you decide that you don't have the time of day to even start such a hobby.  So, you buy your dozen at a time at the local fly shop.  You do this for a year or so and then a friend says that midges are so easy!  You should at least tie those and some easy patterns and save some money...  

So, you buy your starter vise and start tying midges.  Then, it's sow bugs.  Then it's...  Wait a minute!  You now have a drawer full of hooks and beads.  And another drawer of dubbing packages and chenille!

Thread and wire is sitting pretty on the spool rack.  Fur, feathers, and plastic eyes.  It's starting to look like Hobby Lobby.  Is this what you weren't going to get yourself into???  Yup.

Welcome to my world.  The world that seems a bit more exciting when a fish is caught on a fly you tied up.  BUT...  Don't fool yourself into thinking that this will only be one or two patterns that you are going to tie and that's where it stops.  It's like a runaway freight train.  You can't get off.  The Fly Fish Food videos keep coming up on your laptop or phone enticing you to go back to the fly shop to buy one more thing so you can tie that new bug to catch your next fish.  No, it's not going to save you money either.   I've heard that story. 
 But, it's a hoot.

Ahhh, you are now caught in the never ending world of fly tying.  No worries.  There are worse past times.  I'm sure of it!  Haha. 

It's all about the bugs.  Ask any fly fisher.  Sure you can fool the dummest fish with a bad fly.  (Those are most of my ties)  But, the closer you get to what the fish is eating, the better off you will be.  The little guys seem to be less picky.  They haven't seen too many hooks yet.  =)

But, if you want one of these guys...  The fly needs to be the right size, color and variety most of the time.  Then, its up to you to get it in front of their face!  Haha.

So, to add to my amusement of fly tying, I found a group of friends who have coordinated a fly tying night.  Yes, it's the Tuesday Fly Tying Taco Night... We gather at someone's house, make tacos, burritos, eggplant appetizers... Are you hungry yet?  I have actually learned new taco recipes.  Hey, it's way better than the taco truck!  = ) 

I usually come away with a new pattern or two and everyone is more than happy to share their tying talents.  Fun conversation between fly fishing crazies.  What's better than that?  Thank you Aaron for bringing us together.  It's been a blast.

My diet has suffered a slight setback since I joined though.  Wonder why...  Lol.  I have learned to eat a tiny lunch on Tuesdays.  =)

So, Rebecca, taught me something recently.  If your first tie doesn't come out all that hot, write down the problems with it.  Then methodically put together another one and improve
 those things.  I couldn't believe how much better my 
second bug was...

A special thanks to my friend, Mike, too... He has been a huge help with my learning curve to this tying endeavor!  

So, whether you buy or tie...  Just get out there and have some fun.  That is what fly fishing is all about.


  1. Awesome post Emily.
    When I started fly tying one of my thoughts was the fact that I was going to save money. Well that was not exactly true, and I can see you found that out to.
    It's lots of fun creating and then catching fish on your own flies, and the time spent at the vise can be enjoyable.

    1. Alan ~ Sometimes you can save money on the simple ties. Like I will never buy a midge again. Prices for nymphs just went up to $2.99 out here. Sooo... Maybe this will break even on some of my stuff. But, I don't worry about it anymore, because it is just fun to create new patterns and the bug of fly tying has now stuck for good. And yes, tomorrow was supposed to be a fishing day, but now this storm has put the temps down too far for me too venture out... So, out comes the vise! hahahaha

  2. I went to the fly shop to learn to tie flies. First trip was over $1000.00. I have an Excel spreadsheet of fly patterns (around 66) along with a Word document with tutorials. Let me know if you's like me to send it along.

    1. Mark ~ That sounds like a trip to Hawaii! Crap, I would have quit then and there!!! I will let you know about that spreadsheet. It might come in handy. Thanks!

  3. Buy you books, send you to school and then you throw out the teacher with the trash. Aside from some physical limitations, I've been telling you for years to tie your own flies. You can send the ugly ones out here. I'll catch fish with them when you're out next time! By the way, check out Ralph's Flybox for some great tying videos. Darn kids!

    1. Hahahahahaha, What are you talking about? Ok, let's back up. I didn't throw any teacher out. I have been tying for years. It's just getting more serious now. My interest has peaked I guess you could say... And maybe my confidence. =)

  4. great article and yup i have more tying stuff than your average shop now lol

  5. Hey Dave - Just make sure it all gets used! Thanks for stopping by...

  6. Emily
    Good stuff here, but for me the tying vice is a long way down the road; I've got a bucket load of stuff I have to finish before I tie my first fly. Thanks for sharing

  7. Bill - Nothing wrong with that. You will be richer than the rest of us! Lol. And you won't have to vacuum and sweep as much either. Have a good week!