So, tell me more…Why Tie Flies?
Considering the prices of flies available on-line or in-store (originating from China, Kenya and Korea, largely) some might say it’s not worth the trouble of tying your own, but hopefully the first one of these W.T.F.? pieces made the point that the equation variety x size x shade/colour = gazillions, thus buying all that you might need would represent a considerable outlay of the readies, making a strong case for the economic argument of d.i.y..
The more tying you do, the better at it you should become (familiarity with styles, materials and techniques). Believe me, there is a real thrill in catching a fish on a fly of your very own, and giving one of your flies to a friend who catches with it in turn, is another buzz. I regularly give flies to fishing buddies to try, but would feel less inclined to do so after shelling out to commercial providers.
Can you make money from fly tying? A reasonable question, to which the answer is yes and no. There are professional tiers who make a living that way, but by far most tiers are happily amateur. That said, a number of fly retailers do offer a commission percentage on sales for a new pattern that they can market. The big problem, though, is creating something truly unique. Copywriting is difficult, there are always alternative materials to incorporate that can make a fly ‘different’, a variant or derivation rather than a ‘copy’.
Some tiers make money from providing instructional video for the social media and internet platforms. Others can monetise by being specialist tiers; usually traditional/classic Atlantic Salmon flies fetch the finest prices. Some flies are absolute works of art, and are framed rather than ever fished. Fame and reputation command a premium too; most notably, in 2018, a collection of forty-seven of Megan Boyd’s traditional patterns posthumously achieved a record price at auction of £220,000, which equates to each one being worth over £4,680!