i love fly tying creating big bait fish patterns sitting at the vice for hours creating things to deceive predators .....but what if your not as lucky as me in the fact that my work commitments mean i have enough time to tie flies in between shifts.
but what if you don't have time to tie flies what do you do well of course more than likely you will buy them on line or in a local shop but it is a mine field out there
a superb UK tied jack pike (tied by Greg strelly) click the pic
you see the trouble is there is people out there who really don't have a clue and company's that should know better lets start with the latter , big company's make rubbish flies full stop , this i know by the amount of people I've either taken or been out fishing with that have bought mass produced flies from an African sweatshop that have fallen apart after one fish I've seen it with my own eyes ....
big company's need to keep costs down to maximise profit this means that although the original fly tier had the design theres no way in a million years the same fly will make its way back into this country and surely the big company's have a vested interest in making sure that the flies will fall apart after a few fish well you've caught a few fish on that fly well of course you'll buy another couple and of course that's more dosh in the company's pocket.......
the other option of course is online auction sites but this itself presents a problem as although you will 9 times out of ten be buying from the guy who made it and looked at his feedback that says lovely fly fast delivery blah blah blah it doesn't let you leave feedback after you have fished it
Greg strellys UK tied pike fly (click the pic for website)
so the solution is there one well yes i believe there is you see i think a lot of the American fly tying shops and websites have got it right as they will only buy in from American tiers there will be thousands of guys sitting at vices churning out a dozen flies at a time for local stores as a hobby and i know from talking to these guys that money they make from this goes to there fishing and fly tying so they ain't really going to be cutting corners and the guy in the local shop ain't going to pay for a shoddy fly and of course if there is a problem you can take the fly back to the shop and the owner can take it up with the tier simple , how on earth could you do that with a fly made in Africa ......
what i say is ask where your fly is made and buy locally made don't support the sweatshops trust me you local fly tying shop will be very proud to say yes your buying a fly made in the UK/united states/Europe from a local tier
there is also websites out there like www.deercreek.com who have a section for local tiers and there seems to be a trend starting with this i mean what better flies to buy than from guys who fish them and tie them , you can go to any of the blogs listed in my blog roll and ask a tier to tie you some flys OK some guys wont as they haven't got the time but they will recommend somebody who can you see where I'm going with this quality that's what it is about i was asked quite a few years ago by a few company's to design flies for them but i always turned them down and i always will because i will not support sweat shops and bad tying keep it home grown
the pike fly fishing association
of course you could just join a club if your a pike fly fisher and learn to do it yourself there is a wealth of knowledge out there , from clubs like the pffa to local fly tying groups there really is no need to line the pockets of the man........
www.piketrek.com (flies pictured are tied by Greg strelly from pike trek)
if you want to join a fly tying group a great place to start is the fly dressers guild
and most of all support your local fly tiers
"a word of warning if you belong to a fly fishing forum or online community you may get in your mailbox a guy from Kenya sending you a fly catalogue please don't be tempted into buying these as you'll get very inferior flies or at worst no flies at all
(a cave in Scotland)
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