If you know someone that hunts, deer hair and pheasant feathers come at no cost. We have plenty of lakes where I live and goose feathers are free for the taking. My son decided he wanted to make knit caps, but soon gave up on that. I now have a dozen skeins of yarn for dubbing.. There's plenty of stuff around the house to use. Got a lamp you want to get rid of? Cut the wire off and strip the copper out. Christmas tinsel for wrapping. Buy a couple of mylar balloons and cut into strips. Multi-colored feathers are inexpensive at Michael's. The list goes on...
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Posted 27 September 2017 - 08:43 PM
Hey Anthony, Great suggestions on this topic so far... I'm gonna go a slight different direction though.
As I figure in my time into the cost of tying bugs, I surely don't save much.
My non fly tying freinds often tease me that they spend more time on the waters while I am at the vise. That being true...you might end up enjoying the tying aspect of the sport more than you do the fishing! I dig them both, so I don't mind. I don't consider it "lost" time.
As your budget allows in the future, don't be too hesitant to purchase high quality tying materials from your local brick and mortar fly shop. No matter what part of the country I have visited, there has always been kind folks in the shop that are willing to impart their vast decades of knowledge of patterns, timing, technique and other tips that they have accumulated in their local area. Always increases my knowledge, success and fun on the water. Often, they are also very generous with their time and will show a novice how to tie a "local" pattern unique to their area... right at the store counter. It might be more expensive at your local fly shop...but in my opinion, it is a small price to pay for the humble and kind advice provided by the pros and experts at your local shop.
Good luck and have fun in your newly found hobby! -Dorado