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Ed Gallop

What Is A "Professional" Fly Tier

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For Ed Gallop, you're a better man than me... after 22 years in law enforcement (during the height of the party down here in south Florida, 1973-1995, and all the BS that goes with advancing in rank until the only way you appear in a courtroom is as a defendant...) the one thing I'd never attempt is teaching any police course (either entry level, in-service, or the kind of stuff that's more politics than real world stuff...).

 

If asked I would say that police work is far more of an apprenticeship than a profession - although I'm probably in the distinct minority... If it were a profession I'd have been able to apply as a sergeant, lieutenant, or whatever to any other similar outfit - but that's not only not the case - it never will be...

 

Now you can see why I quickly went back to fishing for a living, fly tying, and other pursuits the moment I was able to all those years ago...

 

Capt. Bob... I was a capital felony detective sergeant in VA with 20 specialty training certificates (from the State Police and FBI) and taught at the police academy. However, to be hired by Anchorage AK police I had to start as a rookie and the academy was boring. I likely would not have been hired if I had not had my BA degree because they were flooded with applications. APD was the highest paid in the USA (more than my chief made) and I longed for the last frontier adventure. For you, fishing for a living was likely more of a calling that being a cop.

 

The only position I know of that municipalities hire directly is Chief of Police. They feel it eliminates favoritism. However, within a department you had to apply for advancement and pass the exam to be promoted. LE college training does not prepare anyone to be a cop. The academy does and the rookie experience (usually 1 year) covers what the academy can't. Overall... A fully trained municipal police officer has very extensive training and it takes about 5 years on the street to be fully developed. I feel law enforcement should be considered a profession. It is as much or more of a profession than the military, and even more dangerous per capita. Fly Tying? I do not believe it is a profession and this thread confirmed it.

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At least you guys have groupies

Yes, we do, in our fantasy world, where we become zillionaires and major celebrities because of our Professional tying acumen....

I figured it was all down to a different interpretation of a whip finish.

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At least you guys have groupies

Yes, we do, in our fantasy world, where we become zillionaires and major celebrities because of our Professional tying acumen....

I figured it was all down to a different interpretation of a whip finish.

Ya, sure .... 50 Shades of Olive Grey....

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I have been thinking about this. Here is a different angle on what would help someone be a professional fly tier today:

 

- married, to someone with a decent job so that he/she can be on the significant other's insurance.

- no kids, so that the one salary can cover both.

- living wherever living expenses (home insurance, car insurance,...) may be generally/hopefully lower.

- social media and marketing savvy, to promote the heck out of the business...

- and tech savvy enough to run an online store to sell materials.

 

It is weird that not a lot of it has to do with actually tying flies.

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I politely argued in the classroom with the professor who also was my supervisor. He said his point was an academic definition and mine was a public definition. If on an exam we all should answer with the academic definition. This was the first professor I've had that seemed to enjoy contradiction. I completed my teaching agreement (for a professor on sabbatical) and moved away. I don't think he was critical of me because he provided a wonderful reference letter and sent me available university teaching jobs until I told him I was enjoying retirement too much to apply. A civil argument is better than quitting the class.

I taught law enforcement at Southern Illinois University in the 80s and early 90s after police retirement. I recall taking a graduate course where a professor claimed police officers were not professionals. He said there were several requirements to be a professional and police officers met all but one, "Autonomy". That meant no supervision or external control. I argued that he, a college professor, would not be a professional because he answers to someone, even if tenured.

 

Would have been a very short course for me. I'd have told the "professor" to get bent. I was taught early on that in any course of events, a person is a "Professional" if OTHER people are depending on the abilities of that person for their safety and well being over time.

 

 

 

I never was, and likely never will be a good fit in academia. The pinnacle of my "Professional" life was when I commanded three units over the last 6 years of my service. EVERYONE answers to SOMEONE, and no where is that more apparent than in a position of command. Might not seem like it from the outside looking in. There, the consequences of UNprofessional conduct could be life-ending, same as in LE. Now I serve in a different capacity doing different things- anyway your "professor" (same root word...) has a definition which is in practice, if not in logic, unattainable. Someone could argue circles around it, the idea of NO external controls or influences is contradictory to human nature. I seem to remember reading a huge amount of blah blah blah related to that in a class once. I've grown to a point in my life where I rarely enjoy arguing semantics, but I guess I fell into that trap here :)

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Me! Duhhh! Didn't y'all know that?! :D

 

 

 

Please note it's a joke don't get your... You know whats... In a wad.

 

 

Idk. There may be pro tiers. May not be. I'm just doing it cause I like to. :)

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I prefer the term "commercial tyer". I have sold about 300,000 flies (all wholesale) over the last 30 or so years but am not making a living doing it; decent extra income though. I know a lot of people who tie for money; none make a living doing it.

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Good Lord, tneal... That comes to at least 25 flies every day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (no breaks). Doing that for 30 years? Hell... I'm 76 years old and I've tied frequently for about 60 years and I've never tied even close to 300,000 flies. Much less sell that many. I tied for several fly shops in Alaska, and even sold them in my fly shop (Fly Angling World), as well as my on line store (Fly Tying World), for over 15 years and never came close to tying that many. Maybe you meant 30,000. Even that would be a feat for any tier but it could be done. I like the term "Commercial Tier".

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Aren't "tall tales" a part of fishing (and fly tying) Ed?

 

In Tneal's defense ... If you ARE tying to sell, and working eight hours a day doing it, 27 flies a day would be a poor output. I'd expect 5 to 10 an hour, depending on difficulty. That's 40 to 80 a day, which leaves plenty of weekends free.

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Aren't "tall tales" a part of fishing (and fly tying) Ed?

 

In Tneal's defense ... If you ARE tying to sell, and working eight hours a day doing it, 27 flies a day would be a poor output. I'd expect 5 to 10 an hour, depending on difficulty. That's 40 to 80 a day, which leaves plenty of weekends free.

Yea... You're right. When I had fly shop deadlines to meet I never tied over 3 or 4 hours without a long break. I tied 6 to 8 dozen flies a day for a couple days a week but only for a few weeks. Maybe a couple dozen in the evening after work if needed. Business was very slow in the winter but I prepared for the following season's demand. It became such a burden I quit and didn't tie as a hobby for years after that. I couldn't tie like that all year long. Not only is it tiresome but I'd never get to hunt, fish, or have any fun. Much less work at a job 40+ hours a week. Guess I'm just a hobby tier at my own slow pace.

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Hi Group,

 

We've been watching this "thread" with interest. We know a number of people who make (or made) their living in "fly fishing" but that really encompasses a bunch of different things. For example, we know of several fly shop owners in West Yellowstone who tie flies through the winter, do some speaking engagements to take a break from the vise, guide and run their fly shop during the "season" and do whatever else they need to "keep-the-lights-on." Are they professionals? Who knows. We used to do the same ourselves but now that we are semi-retired, we just tie a few flies (400 dozen or so) and write a few articles to help with travel expenses while traveling to the next fishing spot. BUT for many years we did a bunch of different things in "fly fishing" to make a living. Were we professionals? I don't know but the IRS sure expected the estimated taxes every quarter and on 15th of April whether we met the college professor's definition or not. Take care & ...

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