If you haven't figured it out by now, i'm into fishing quite a bit. Basically, i love most outdoor activities, but camping and fishing really top the list. (my love for the outdoors saved my life a few years ago) i've been into fly fishing for about the last 6 months or so. In that time, i've read and researched the sport to the extent that your normal person would think i was obsessed. Even though i've only been doing it for 6 months, i think it's safe to say that i know as much about it and how to do it probably as much as someone who's been doing it for a long time. One thing i know that i need to work on is the tendency to drop my backcast too low and taking too much of the pie at one time. i'm working on it....i promise.
i think that fly tying is a natural progression that fly fishermen are drawn to after essentially "learning" all of the terminology and jargon that isn't attached to other forms of fishing....like rod, reel and line weights and, floating line/sinking line, leader and tippet and how they work in conjunction with the species of fish you're targeting, fly selection, stripping techniques, casting and presentation, ect. It's a lot to digest. But after you learn the basics, the coolest thing in the world would be to tie a fly and actually catch a fish.....right? Not only that but, it's a lot more cost effective if you can tie patterns that you use a lot. For instance, i use Deceivers and Clouser types a lot. i used to buy them but at $4.95 per fly, you'd spend a ton of money to fill up a nice sized fly box. i did find a few nice websites that sell flies for $1.50 per fly, but still....i can get a few nice pieces of bucktail for $1.50, a rooster neck for $2.00, box of fifty Mustad 1/0 hooks for $5.00, and make a crapload of Deceivers and Clousers. Of course the initial investment of buying a vice and the tools might set you back (i have a cheapo vice and really nice scissors) but not only will you save money in the long run, it's really neat to be able to stock up your fly box AND be creative at the same time. My buddy OhToBe calls it "man-cheting (like crocheting for men).
Mama can tie flies. So can Jassie Billy (he started making his own patterns right off the bat). It's really not that hard to do after you tie up a few. i'm always figuring out what i did wrong and ways that i can improve what i've been turning out.
It also gives me the ability to change a pattern to suit my needs. For instance, i've been making some beadchain eye clouser types on a size 8 hook for bonefish. I've been making 1/0 deceivers using various amounts of bucktail to make them puffy or scrawny. Plus different colors, sizes, weighted or not.....there are a bunch of options to get you what you need without having to go buy something at a fly shop. I have big fat clousers with 3 colors for current swept oyster bars or lighter beadchain eye variations where i need to use stealth or where it doesn't have to dive as fast. Captain Pat Dimeco ( http://captpat.com/index.html) showed me a simplified clouser that is a bit more sparse, and i can tie it in about 5 minutes.
Recently, i tried my hand at an Enrico Puglisi baitfish type using teased yarn instead of the EP fibers. It didn't come out too bad and i'm sure i can make it better after a few more attempts. i haven't water tested it yet like i have my other creations. i've also perfected what i like to call a marabou shrimp. It's a size 8 hook with marled grizzly marabou tail, copper krystal flash, palmered marled grizzly marabou body, brown bucktail and tan bucktail antenae. The marabou breathes when it sits still, and the forward pointing bucktail antenae push water.
Try it out....fly fishing and the things associated with it is an art....but it isn't too pricey to get into.