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Fly Tying
kimjensen

Few patterns vs. Allot of patterns.

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I got into fly tying for the "I'll save money if I tie my own" reason. And it works for me. I will tie four or five flies, try them, and if they catch, I'll tie more as needed. If they don't catch, then I don't have to tie any more.

 

I don't tie too many display flies, but if I can ever pack deer hair like some of you guys, I might tie up a few flies that WILL be for display only.

 

I like tying flies, but I don't really LOVE it. I do it to support my fishing.

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I love doing different patterns and am always looking for the next secret weapon! I started tying five years ago when I retired. I tie more flies than I will ever use especially since I only have warm water species available in this area. But I do like seeing the eyes of fellow anglers I meet on the water light up when I give them a few of what's been hot lately. I love participating in swaps as it gives me a look at what other folks are doing and allows me to tie different flies and not have to store them.

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When I first got onto this site, I looked at doing some swaps.

I was looking at the list of open swaps ... looking at my supplies ... looking at the prices of supplies I'd need ... on and on.

Then I realized, I am just too cheap to buy all the stuff I'd need to tie flies I'd be happy to send to others.

I am not as picky when it comes to my own flies.

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I have over 60,000 patterns I think now in print and am trying to tie and fish them all. I tie on average over 1000 just for my main vest to carry.

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I love doing different patterns and am always looking for the next secret weapon! I started tying five years ago when I retired. I tie more flies than I will ever use especially since I only have warm water species available in this area. But I do like seeing the eyes of fellow anglers I meet on the water light up when I give them a few of what's been hot lately. I love participating in swaps as it gives me a look at what other folks are doing and allows me to tie different flies and not have to store them.

I see all these neat flies people on here tie. I truly appreciate the skill and time that goes into them. On several of the threads, I've said I'll be trying those patterns when I get home (if I am on the road), or when I get back to the vice.

I either forget to look up the patterns, or I look at my stock and realize, again, that I don't have the materials to do the original fly justice.

 

I have over 60,000 patterns I think now in print and am trying to tie and fish them all. I tie on average over 1000 just for my main vest to carry.

I don't think I've even seen 1000 different patterns, yet. I KNOW I haven't seen 60,000 !!!

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I generally agree with Mikechell ... two peas from the same pod I guess, but I finally found a difference. I tie for two reasons: one, to tie things I can and will use to fish for bluegills and crappies, and then second, for the enjoyment of creating something. I admit I don't bother tying clousers or other saltwater lures, although I live right on Tampa Bay, I really really prefer freshwater lake fishing. So I tie my rubber spiders and poppers for my panfish, and then I'm liable to try my hand at just about anything that strikes my fancy just because I want to.

So my advice is, tie it if you want to. Who's counting?

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The more times you tie the more patterns you will want to tie! I started tying 8 years ago and as I progressed I tied flies that I don't ever use! Simply cause I needed a different challenge and you get bored tying flies like your on a production line. Why even though I love tying I cant tie the same fly at the vise in one session more than a couple of dozen times then I need to tie something different!

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I'm still a newbie, but I like versitility. This past Saturday I spent time on a small brookie creek. I used the following flies in a 5 hour period:

- Standard Klinkhammer

- Caddis Klinkhammer

- Parachute Mr. Rapidan

- Neversink Caddis

- Copper John

- Rainbow Warrior

- Flashback Midge

- Syl's nymph

- Partridge and Orange

- Foam and CDC Stonefly

 

Last time I fished this stream (a week ago) all they wanted was the Klink and the rainbow warrior. The sky was clear, it was about 70 degrees out, and I was fishing the evening. Saturday it was in the 50s, rainy, and I fished morning to midday. Additionally it looked like someone had fished the creek the day before me. They wouldn't touch the klink and the rainbow warrior. I even fished a different section of the creek. I had the best luck on a red size 14 copper john. Last time they were mainly hitting the size 18 rainbow warrior, saturday they wanted a little more meat.

 

I forgot my lanyard and therfore forgot my gink and my dry shake. Had I had some flotant on me I would have thrown some BWOs, Adams, regular caddis, comparaduns, etc. I had fish take just about everything I threw at them. Part of the fun to me it trying different flies to see what works in what conditions.

 

To tie it in to the spin fishing world I used to throw zoom finesse worms in watermelon, black, or junebug or a zoom fluke 95% of the time. Most days I'd catch plenty of fish in cluding some big ones, but there would be days I'd only catch a few or only smaller fish. That's pretty much all I threw for maybe 4-6 years. a few years ago I started throwing tubes, walk-the-dog topwaters, jerkbaits, crankbaits, and all sorts of other lures in addition to my standbys. What I found was that while one lure may catch plenty of fiish in a given day, another would absolutely tear them upp, especially big boys. I could fish what I always did and catch fish or I could be come a more versitle angler and catch more and bigger fish every time out.

 

The same applies to fly fishing. I could throw an adams every time and catch fish. I could add a small hare's ear dropper and probably catch even more. That said there'll be days where that's not what every fish wants and I won't have much luck. If I throw on a rainbow warrior or a klink or something else all together I may pull a few extra fish out of a hole. That's worth it to me.

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I tie a lot of different patterns, from #32 to #4/0, just to learn how different styles are done and how different material work together. For me this is part of this hobby: to explore how things work together when you put them together on the hook, so for me I love discovering new styles and material

 

For fishing I tend to lean towards some specific patterns, but trying to expand more there as well, but I know what works in the waters I fish normally.

 

This would be me - but my upper limit is #30 and I very rarely go there :)...

 

I'd bet I fish about 20 flies consistently year to year... the rest are fun to tie and may get a drift or two before retirement...

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I just tie what i think i need. This means my box for coastal flies is VERY limited, and kinda boring.
On the other hand, my dryfly boxes are taking up more and more space each winter, but i just would hate to miss that SPECIAL one :D

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I like to tie new patterns because it teaches me new skills and techniques as has been said. I always have to at least try a new pattern, it may be just the thing I need at some point and so I just keep trying new stuff. Plus who doesn't like adding more new materials to the evergrowing pile of stuff in the drawers?

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Looking at that, Bob ... I just came to a realization. I am not actually a "Fly Tier". I am a fly angler who ties flies I need for fishing.

I don't feel a need to have tons of materials stored all over the place.

I don't have a need to tie patterns just because they look neat.

I do like trying a new beetle or insect or minnow pattern, if I think it'll catch more fish than what I already have. But normally, if I can't tie it with the materials I already have, I just stick to what I already tie.

 

I LOVE fly fishing. I tie flies because it is less expensive than buying flies.

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Unfortunately I'm on the other end of the spectrum. Being a guide, I need to tie a lot of flies and different patterns. It is amazing at the differences of the same fly on different streams. Take the BWO - I probably have about 10 different patterns to cover the color and size difference from stream to stream. Plus I have to cover the whole range of styles from nymphs, streamers, dries, wets etc. since my trips are tailored to what my client like to fish. On the average, I'd say I tie 400 different patterns and over 300 dozen flies a year not counting the custom tying for customers. All this just for trout and I personally fish for every freshwater species

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ROTW

Don't know why you'd say "unfortunately"... you get to make your life doing something you love. You're a lucky person.

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