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vicrider

In danger of losing this forum section...

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When we have people like Fishing Bob Nelson and Flytire and I could name several others who were long time regulars giving up on the forum because it has become fashionable to be late with flies, it has been slow to fill swaps, and with the loss of the regulars we have not had sufficient incoming talent to keep things going of late. It was only a few years ago I'd check the forum daily if I could or new swaps would be full before I could jump in. Sometimes when I was feeling like I hogged things I'd pass my spot off and always had people in line for an opening in almost any swap.

I know that postage has actually become a cost that is not the insignificant few bucks it was some time back. That plus the recent unreliability of delivery on time and swappers sending at last minute doesn't work anymore. Swaps used to be a good bargain with good talent and reasonable postage. Now with postage both ways reaching the $10 mark it is no long insignificant and all the more reason to work hard on your flies and meet the deadlines. I agreed to be a global moderator with the understanding that this forum is my primary concern and I would try to keep our great swapping record going.

When a deadline falls on a Tuesday don't sit down Saturday night to try to get them out Monday. There is a swap on right where there are any number of simple ties that fit the swap (and some very hard ones I've found) and we can't get more than a half dozen people interested? All I can say is that this is/was the best swap group on the internet and it could be again. New tiers, you're always welcome and it's a great way to up your game. Oldtimers, watch and see if things can turn around and get back to the great swaps we had before. If not it may be one of the many internet forums that slowly dies a death that will be missed by many, especially me.

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Thanks, vicrider, for stepping up and speaking out.  Although I haven't been active on this forum for some time, I would hate to see it go.  I was just starting out tying when I found it, and I learned so, so much from the flies I got in the swaps.  When I meet someone new to fly tying, I always tell them about this website.  Although postage may have gone up, it is well worth what one can learn from the swaps.

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As you've seen on my swaps I like to point out and welcome newer tyers to the swap.  I'm currently a member of 2 other sites - one that was once THE site (FAOL) and is now dying as a site, and another (Fly Fishing Forum) where swaps had become few and far between because of swappers AND hosts disapearing from the face of the Earth during the swap.

I come from a skill teaching background and try to 1) tie a couple patterns not one and give some fly tying material gifts when I host - after 50 years of tying I have enough material to last until I'm 150 years old and 2) a fact sheet with a short history of the patterns I tied along with it's recipes and tying directions.  I am doing all of this to encourage "the new generation" of tyers and swappers.  This also gives a little more value to the swappers.  Also, when someone tells me taht they are new to tying I will - help them find a good pattern to tie (if needed/requested), will PM the newer tyer with a list of hints/tips/tricks/traps in tying their pattern choice, and provide a PM feedback after their flies are received.  This feedback includes what they did well and where AND HOW they can improve.  I did this on the Beginner Swap series a few months ago on this site. This on-line classroom also helps give the swap a little value as well.   If this works as planned - good, if not - well I won't have the preasure of living for the next 90 years to use up my material!

I would STRONGLY suggest that hosts, if applicable, openly offer/promote their fly swap as open to new tyers - highlight this fact on the swap and openly offer assistance to anyone who is interested.  I also offer support to those new to swaps - swaps can be a little intimidating to some, thinking that they do not tie well enough - even for a more experienced tyer.

This is what I've learned from 10+ years of participating and hosting swaps and I hope this helps.

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 i think the forum is doing fine. most tyers are busy fishing, getting kids ready for school and college, .  fly tying swaps are busier in the winter season,so i think its a summer slowdown.

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I hope you're right Rich but there are others around for a long time feel it slipping. I love the swap and will hang with it as long as possible but would love to see it fire up like the old days and it wasn't just winter that was active.

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I do agree that delays (Both on the part of the tyer & USPS) have likely led to some tiring of the swaps, but in my case I really just need a break after overextending myself this past winter.  I signed up for more than I probably had time for (here and with other groups) and found myself fairly burnt out on the process by spring.  Add in work getting busy as it does every spring/summer, and I haven't even had the urge to join a swap in the past few months.  Work will eventually slow in the fall/winter though, and I'm sure I'll be looking to jump back in.

Chris

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1. i think its a little premature to think that if a few "regulars" decide to no longer participate or host fly swaps that this forum category is going to disappear

2. i also think that not everybody is going to participate in swaps that have no relevance to them. why tie flies for a swap when you'll never use the flies or they don't exist in your area. i have a small fly shops worth of tying materials at my disposure but i really don't want to have to buy new materials for just 12 flies

3. some swaps take way too long from sign up date to delivery date to the swapmeister. one month should be the maximum length of time for a swap. this may keep tiers from joining. if you cant tie 12 flies in a one month time frame, don't join. my swap flies are usually tied within 1-3 days of signing up for a swap, but that's just me. OCD punctual

4. there are known procrastinators and "no shows" in the swap forum joining swaps that hold up the swap for everybody else. if they sign up for another swap, swapmeisters should confront them in a polite manner to see if they are rally going to tie flies for the swap. think about the other swappers you are holding up receiving the swap flies

5. there may be life events that may happen but at least let the swapmeister know so he can fill your spot when that happens. maybe swapmeisters could ask for 1-2 alternate swappers for when drop outs occur

6. i'm not saying we have any current dishonest swapmeister (we have had a few in the past that have taken the swap flies and never returned them) but I'm a little leery about signing on to a swap with an unknown swapmeister. it just might be me being cautious. i'm not going to scour that persons swap history to see if he has a 3 swap minimum to be a swapmeister

7. if postal situations get better with time and i find a swap that interests me, maybe i'll swap again but not just now. postage is getting up to about $10 round trip and delivery can be up to 2 months (but not always)

8. it is perfectly okay if fly swaps slow down during the summer months. they usually pick back up in the fall and winter

9. new tiers are always welcome to join fly swaps as long as youre serious. tying 12 flies is a good way to increase consistency

okay i'm done. maybe too harsh? oh well. have you ever known me to be a diplomat! 🤪

bob nelson

keep me in mind for your annual "caddis for christmas" swap if you still host it

 

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I have been busy gardening, fishing. tying for CFR and helping with the local food Pantry.

When those things slow down some I will jump back in.

 

Rick 

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Hmmm. Interesting thread and posts. I don't tie but 6-8 patterns for my area, both fresh and cold waters. Might be a challenge to tie some different flies as the foam flies recently posted. As for shipping by USPS, the small boxes are relatively cheap. Put the flies in one or two medicine bottles (I have bunches of them), pad with a bunch of plastic grocery bags or newspaper and send. I have sent other things this way with not problem. FWIW, I like to get things as I have read newspapers from other places. The color comics are a bonus!

flytire has some good points.

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On postage costs I'm still able to ship a 4 oz package first class USPS 1-3 days (plus any added DeJoy time) for about $3.50 on pirateship.com. (retail $4.30)

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I’m not much of a good writer but I’d miss this forum very much. I love tying flies and getting all the members flies back. As far as postage cost it’s high but,  I’d still do the swaps. 
Oh and I have never used the flies there all stored in the boxes and labeled for future examples. 

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The swap portion of the forum won't go away if we decide it won't.  I am just taking a break from hosting until I get some stuff sorted out.  This year has been tough on us all.  

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Okay, I'm glad there is some optimistic responses on this thread. I tend to be a pessimist I admit and I hope this is just the swap forum taking a breather with all that has been going on the last year. Now that things are open again and people catching up an often wasted year the swaps will rebound resoundingly this fall and winter and I will take a big sigh of relief that this great forum is still going strong.

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Will watch to see any future swaps. I'm not one to tie a variety of flies but will look at what is asked and go from there. Tight lines and screaming drags!

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