Where is a good place to buy decent quality flies?

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Paul Barci

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Mar 6, 2022
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North Wales Pa
I'm relatively old, but l did tie for years. I had such a huge surplus of flies and a very demanding work schedule, l had stopped tying. Also after a number of moves my time had become limited for tying and fishing as well. But having the knowledge that l do have, l realized that with proper research on the web, you can purchase excellent ties for less than you could tie them yourself. Tying is an art form backed by research. We always carried specimen jars to take samples back to the tying table. All of that being said !! If you know what you're looking for, you can buy it. But... In the end, it does come down to years of observation on the stream and knowing the hatches and other inhabitants that trout feed on.
It's a fun road and it's what you make of it.
 
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Frederick V. C.

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May 16, 2022
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Location
Coatesville
I always buy local when in a new area, also a good way to glean info. That said despite the fact that I tie, sometimes it's nice to have a physical pattern to work from. Another vote for Big Y fly co. A lot of their stuff is on sale now as well.
 
tjsingle

tjsingle

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Feb 27, 2017
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202
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PA
Big Y all day long. Great selection, and the flies by location tool is nice to see whats popular in other states!
 
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fcarp

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Aug 23, 2013
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Go to a local shop, especially if you’re new to this. They will help you buy the right flies and you can get ask for some helpful information after you’ve bought some stuff
 
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tie1fly

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Jan 20, 2022
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PA
Mike Heck ties and sells very high quality flys. You can mail order from him and I believe Percission Fly shop carrys some of his stuff. Added benefit is many of his patterns designed specifically for PA streams.

I mostly tie my own flies, but Mike Heck does have some really nice patterns for PA streams.
 
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Coontail77

Coontail77

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Aug 29, 2013
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Columbia County
As we don’t have any local fly shops, I buy all of mine from Orvis. Although at $2-3.50 a pop, it gets ridiculous to spend $30 on 8-10 flies, shipping not included. Seeing all the posts about Big Y might have me checking them out though!
 
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greywolf

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Apr 19, 2013
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I use places like Fly Stop snd Big Y for bulk purchases to fill my fly boxes but I always stop at a local fly shop where I am fishing to buy some flies. Places like Flyfishers Paradise and Precision are a little more expensive but the flies are top quality and if you talk to the people working there, you will pick up a lot of valuable information to help your fishing.
 
S

Silent Ocelot

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Aug 2, 2022
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Gap
As we don’t have any local fly shops, I buy all of mine from Orvis. Although at $2-3.50 a pop, it gets ridiculous to spend $30 on 8-10 flies, shipping not included. Seeing all the posts about Big Y might have me checking them out though!
I try and stay away from Orvis ties. They're ok flies but sometimes some of the flies don't have glue and start to fall apart after a bit. The components are good. It's hard to justify $2.50 to $3 (I once paid $4 per nymph at TCO!) per nymph when I could potentially lose 8 flies in a day. There are some patterns by them I still buy such as their Frenchie Jig, PT jig, perdigon, and Miller's Tactical Plus 1 (REALLY good fly). Here in the US we are spoiled and can buy quality nymphs for $1 a piece from tiers who actually use their stuff, not some overseas lackey who has no understanding on what fish like in a fly and works off a template. You can buy REALLY nice nymphs in the US for $2-$3.
 
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PatchezMDM

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Sep 15, 2022
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98
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York County
Mike Heck ties and sells very high quality flys. You can mail order from him and I believe Percission Fly shop carrys some of his stuff. Added benefit is many of his patterns designed specifically for PA streams.

I mostly tie my own flies, but Mike Heck does have some really nice patterns for PA streams.

I can second the Mike Heck ties. I got the opening day package and the early spring package when he was running his sale in March. I got the flies in s few days and they were great ties. I'm still learning to tie myself and can't tie the smaller hooks sizes yet. That takes some finesse that I currently lack. Practice makes perfect though.
 
R

Roofin' Trouter

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Dec 28, 2022
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SC /NC Pa
I'm still learning to tie myself and can't tie the smaller hooks sizes yet. That takes some finesse that I currently lack. Practice makes perfect though.
I've only been tying roughly 27 months so I'm far from an expert. But, what helped me get better at tying small flies was using 18/0 thread. I use that semperfli nano silk stuff on the small flies and it helps keep small flies slim.
 
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poopdeck

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Dec 7, 2013
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2,035
I try and stay away from Orvis ties. They're ok flies but sometimes some of the flies don't have glue and start to fall apart after a bit. The components are good. It's hard to justify $2.50 to $3 (I once paid $4 per nymph at TCO!) per nymph when I could potentially lose 8 flies in a day. There are some patterns by them I still buy such as their Frenchie Jig, PT jig, perdigon, and Miller's Tactical Plus 1 (REALLY good fly). Here in the US we are spoiled and can buy quality nymphs for $1 a piece from tiers who actually use their stuff, not some overseas lackey who has no understanding on what fish like in a fly and works off a template. You can buy REALLY nice nymphs in the US for $2-$3.
Dare I suggest that some of the best fly tiers in the world are among those lackeys you speak of. I tie my own and rarely use glue on a fly.

I will only buy token flies at flys at shops near where I’m going to fish. i Encourage every fly fishermen to tie their own flies. It’s not difficult. Fact is it’s very easy.
 
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Yoder

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Apr 21, 2023
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Pike County
I don't know how good they are but if you want cheap I just ordered from a place called Regionfishing.com. If you buy 25 flies you get a 50% discount. I'm not exactly worried about quality considering how many nymphs I lose every time I fish. I just started out so I really don't know what to look for. All I know is they catch fish and I lose them before they fall apart.
 
PennKev

PennKev

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Sep 9, 2006
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3,050
Here in the US we are spoiled and can buy quality nymphs for $1 a piece from tiers who actually use their stuff, not some overseas lackey who has no understanding on what fish like in a fly and works off a template. You can buy REALLY nice nymphs in the US for $2-$3.

Which US tier sells their flies for $1?

GOOD foreign tied flies are easily over $2 from many sources. Look at brands like Umpqua and prepare for sticker shock... ...but still foreign made.

Virtually every commercially available fly is made in a foreign country. Yeah. there are a few domestic tiers out there, but none of them are cheap. Anglers who wish to purchase rather than tie their own need to accept that their flies are not going to be tied by an American unless they want to take out a mortgage to fill their fly box. Fly tying has a reputation for not saving money but I know damn well I could never afford to keep my boxes full the way I do if I had to buy every fly at even 50 cents a piece.
 
jifigz

jifigz

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Dec 8, 2013
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Miff-Co, PA
When I first started fly fishing I bought flies from BassPro. I only bought some Adams dries, some EHC, and some PT nymphs. It was good enough to get started.

What I also bought when I first started was the Cabela's basic fly tying kit, one size of hook, a bead size, 2 bucktails, and all materials needed to tie black woolly buggers.

This taught me how to start thread, whip finish, etc. Bass happily gobbled up just deer hair on a hook. Slowly but surely I have so much dang stuff now I can tie flies like mad and rarely ever  need to buy anything. I don't even like to fish a fly I didn't tie.

I'm with Poopdeck..... Everyone who is going to fly fish should at least learn to tie a few basics. You'll be happy you did.
 
zenriver

zenriver

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Oct 31, 2007
Messages
49
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Ligonier
Another vote for FFP. Flies are always well-tied with proper proportions. Usually, I tie most of my standard “go to” flies with the old Regal, but buy local for specific hatches,
i.e. , green drake patterns from Bruce in Weikert. Had a case of sticker shock recently…
$4 flies on a recent trip... not happy about that because it really is a nice shop that shall remain nameles. I will say the klinghammer MB was the ticket however.
 
zenriver

zenriver

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Oct 31, 2007
Messages
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Ligonier
Believe me I felt like WTF!?!? My own fault for not having my travel tie kit with me.
Never again….
 
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