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Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2011/3/8 19:04
From York, PA
Posts: 367
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So I can't afford to spend a ton but have just started tying some simple patterns and have really found it to be both therapeutic and challenging. I checked out a local craft store but they had limited items that would be usable for tying. What are some recommendations for finding materials to get started? I have been looking for some deals on eBay so that is one option. So far I have been tying San Juan worms, walts worms, caddis patterns, and eggs because they only require a couple items! Thanks for any leads.
Matt Sips

Posted on: 2013/2/7 18:15


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

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2009/12/17 20:43
From Souderton PA
Posts: 866
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Matt,
It really depends on what type of fly you want to tie. If you are into synthetics, you should check out Flytyer's Dungeon. He does a holiday box that is just a ridiculous amount of material for $20-30. This is a Christmas time promotion, but he sometimes has extras and it woudl be worth an email to find out. His price on all materials is very good, and he sometimes has parted out estate sale lots for sale.
For natural materials, you can sometimes find good delas on hides at places like Moscow Hide and Fur. Look at the bottom of the page for links to items less than $2, $5, etc. a good piece of muskrat and a fox squirrell hide plus some wool and yarn scraps and rit dyes can make a lot of dubbing. Dubbing by the bag has got to be the most overpriced material you can buy.
About the only thing I think you need to pay a lot for is quality dry fly hackle.
I hope thats a helpful start. Let me know if you have any particular materials in mind and I'll see if I can point you to a source.
Mike.

Posted on: 2013/2/7 20:51
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Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2011/9/27 20:41
From Central PA
Posts: 220
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hopefully you are a hunter or know someone who does. find a local chicken farmer and an animal farm...

there is very little i purchase from a fly shop anymore.

all you need is the carcas, a knife, some borax, and a plastic tub. skin it, borax it, and pin it on a board which will sit in the plastic tub...no mess.

btw- the animal farm would have exotic critters...that is were i pick up a peacock feather or two each year.

the chicken farm will produce your feathers which you can dye any color you need.

i am going to take my shot at tanning rabbit pelts this year or next since the season is almost over...dye black/white/olive and there you have it, home made zonker strips!

each time my buddy or i catch a fish the memory of the hunt is re-lived in each fish brought to hand so not only are you getting the satisfaction of tying your flies you are also reaping the rewards of hunting for your materials!

Posted on: 2013/2/7 21:06


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2011/9/27 20:41
From Central PA
Posts: 220
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oops, click submit twice.

Posted on: 2013/2/7 21:08


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

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2007/3/9 14:18
From Enola, PA
Posts: 444
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Fly tyers dungeon is a good place to buy from any time of the year. I swear after he fills your order he tosses a handful of extra stuff in. Last time I ordered there were a bunch of hopper/Chernobyl ant style foam bodies loose in the box.

Posted on: 2013/2/7 21:10
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Joe


uhh...nevermind


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2009/4/5 13:10
From Shamokin-Coal Township
Posts: 357
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You might be amazed at what you have in your home that you could use for tying. When I was stuck on a particular color of tan, I combed my cat for some fur, made pretty good dubbing. ASk around at your local haunts, churches, bars, etc. I found someone in my church that has these cool colored parrots and they give me feather from the birds, makes some really cool Pheasant tail nymphs. Youn can use thin strips of potato chip bags as a form of flashback, or use the postage bags that we all get every now and then and cut them into strips and use a marker. Become a hunter in your house. You will be amazed.

Posted on: 2013/2/7 21:31


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

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2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2416
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Quote:

mutzinbaugh wrote:

each time my buddy or i catch a fish the memory of the hunt is re-lived in each fish brought to hand so not only are you getting the satisfaction of tying your flies you are also reaping the rewards of hunting for your materials!

Going full circle is a wonderfull thing.

Posted on: 2013/2/7 21:54
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Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From SEPA
Posts: 11270
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One rabbit skin will provide you with the materials for over 9000 flies.

From a ghetto hare's ear to an all-fur soft hackle, the very short grey underbody is sub for musk rat and mole for your midges or touch dubbed bodies. the longer, soft white hair will make a convincing hair wing on small attractor wets as well.

About $6.


Posted on: 2013/2/8 0:59
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And why not?


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2012/12/22 20:54
From Archbald
Posts: 154
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Christmas tinsel (Who doesn't have that laying around in a box), craft store foam (ants, lady bug, hopper patterns) is dirt cheap. I found a few stuffed animals from my kids stuff I was able to neatly trim as to not ruin the animal. Salvation Army, roadkill (yes I've done it, but usually only take the tail), or even your local taxidermist might throw you some material for a few bucks. My local taxidermist gives me free material (limited, but hey, it's free!) Bead chains, the kind that have the claps that the bead hooks into (like the keychain type) can be found at dollar stores and they work great for bead eyes. Be resourceful, and you will find a ton of material right in your own house or neighborhood for free, or dirt cheap.

Posted on: 2013/2/8 3:58


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2010/11/24 13:19
From Perkasie PA
Posts: 955
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Some cheap materials you don't need to get from a fly shop and probably have already can be purchased for a few bucks:

Sharpies - Get brown, red, and black. You can color whatever the heck you want with them.

Paintbrush - use the bristles for nymph legs, mayfly tails, etc. They make a good replacement for microfibbets.

Ziplock bag - You don't need scud back. Use it for mayfly nymph backs, scuds, czechs, whatever. Use sharpies on them. Just dont pull quite as tight as you would with scud back.

Dryer lint and pet fur - Mentioned above. It's ghetto, but it's dubbing.

Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails - Raid your wife's makeup and use this for head cement, wingcases, etc.

Featherduster - I heard this one last night for the first time and I checked ours out when I got home and it will work. The synthetic ones you can get at the dollar store make great body material for small streamers.

Speaker wire - Strip off the coating, and untwist the strands, no need to buy UTC ultra wire. Yeah, it might be a little thick, but it can work in most cases. You can also rip apart small battery operated toys and the little engines in them might have some wire to be stripped. Want it in black? See Sharpie above.

Dental Floss - Don't get the flavored kind. Great for building underbodies on larger nymphs.

Condoms and Latex rubber gloves - cut em' in strips and make lots of worm patterns.

Pet stores - get to know someone who works at one that sells birds. Ask them to grab some feathers as they fall out.

Hunting - If you don't hunt. Find someone that does. I'm always getting offered duck, rabbit, pheasant, deer, etc.

xmas decorations - as mentioned above. All the flash you could ever want can be find here.

Craft foam - $1 a sheet at any craft store. Print out a 40% coupon before you go. AC Moore and Michaels always have them online. a brown sheet for $.60 will last you about 200 flies and you can tie everything from hoppers to beetles to mayfly bodies with it. Or buy white and use sharpies :) (have I mentioned yet how essential markers are?)








Posted on: 2013/2/8 9:43
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Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2006/9/11 11:30
Posts: 580
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Get to know a furrier or a trapper. Their trimmings will be more than you need for flies. Muskrat and Arctic fox are two of the good ones.

Rug samples have plenty of Antron or similar yarns for emerger shucks and scud or cressbug dubbing. Rug outlets always have last years samples to hand away and they come in a lot of colors.

The thin clear packing foam sheets make great spinner wings and wing cases. Love to make a bubble midge with a packing foam wingcase.

Tyvek makes good wing cases. Get it from some rugged shipping envelopes or a construction site. Color with Sharpies.

If you deal with junk electronic stuff, look for little transformers or tiny motor armatures. Many are made from very fine magnet wire that comes in a lot of colors.

Glass beads at a crafts store.

Another underbody material is a cotton ball. Use it like dubbing.

Posted on: 2013/2/8 12:50


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2006/9/11 11:34
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 465
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Some things are packaged in thicker, stretchy plastic that is good for scud backs...like the square bags that comforters come in

Posted on: 2013/2/8 12:57


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2010/12/6 18:21
Posts: 89
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What would one use beaver whiskers for? Someone told my father they were great for tying flies, and I now have a bag of beaver whiskers from this seasons catch. I'm just not real sure what I would use them for other than maybe legs. They appear to float pretty well, but the longest of them is only 4 in or so. I've looked online and checked some of my old tying books and can find no mention of them. The online search did open my eyes to some things I won't mention here!

Posted on: 2013/2/8 13:19


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

Joined:
2010/11/24 13:19
From Perkasie PA
Posts: 955
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beetle legs on foam beetles for sure.

Posted on: 2013/2/8 13:22
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DUBTHETHORAX.COM


Re: Materials from alternate sources?

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2010/12/6 18:21
Posts: 89
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Dub, have you ever heard of that before?

Posted on: 2013/2/8 13:23



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