I have been tying for 2 weeks. I have saved my fist couple of flies. I have to admit, it has been easier than I thought it would be. I attribute this to two excellent books (Orvis Fly Tying Guide and a book called Beginning Fly Tying). Both of these books have excellent step by step instruction. I also have got some advise from the local Fly shop and I attended the Denver Fly Fishing show and sat through a few seminars with expert tyers like Ed Engle, and a few others (my short term memory has been "pink floyd-ed").
There is no doubt that it must be easier for new tyers today. I have access to great advise 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Books, the internet, seminars and shows are readily available. I really didn't have any trouble finding tools, materials and advise on what to buy. I have heard some guys say this is a dying sport, but from the looks of this and other boards this sport and fly-tying in general seem to be growing. My kids are interested, and I am hooked.
Fishing is great, but tying has really made me think more about fishing tactics. It has also complelled me to get better at all aspects of the sport because I want to know if my flies work. I realize if I suck at basic technique, I will never know if it is my flies or my poor skills that are preventing me from catching as many fish as possible.