Fishing or tying? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fishing or tying?

Dble Haul
11-07-2003, 09:11 AM
I want to throw this out there just for kicks....

I was at the flyshop last evening and somehow we all got on the subject of tying vs. fishing, and which gave each of us a greater sense of satisfaction. I really had to ponder this question for a few minutes before I answered because I so thoroughly enjoy each activity, and each is a means towards the other.

I suppose if I had a gun to my head and had to choose, I would pick fishing because I can validate my tying on the water. Plus when fishing, I'm out in beautiful areas and enjoying the rewards of early mornings, late nights, and countless hours of scouting and effort.

But only if I had a gun to my head. ;)

I've started this poll only to start some discussion on this subject and to help us think about how deeply these activities are ingrained in some of us.

And I haven't included a bail out option....if you vote, you have to pick either fishing or tying, regardless of how hard a decision it is.

So, if you could only either fish or tie, which would it be?

Personally, I couldn't picture my life without either. It was a tough choice for the poll.

11-07-2003, 09:37 AM
Mark..Fishing.... I never tye in the season...but after the season the tying bug hits me.. It's a tough question... and for me it makes .."flyfishing" last all year that way... it is all part of the whole.... but nothing can be better than that "tug" you feel at the end of the line. So I will vote fishing...but....

11-07-2003, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by Dble Haul
I was at the flyshop last evening and somehow we all got on the subject of tying vs. fishing, and which gave each of us a greater sense of satisfaction.

Based on this statement: Fly tying gives me a greater sense satisfaction.
Fishing does waaaaay more than that.

11-07-2003, 10:57 AM
The trouble with polls.....

I view the two activitees as part of the same. I guess if I didn't fish I'd find no satisfaction in tying. But I don't have to tie to be perfectly happy fishing.

John Desjardins
11-07-2003, 11:07 AM
Catching a fish with a fly that I created gives the greatest satisfaction. If I had to choose one it would be fishing.

11-07-2003, 12:57 PM
Withhout question it is flyfishing. I love to tie and have been doing so since age 9 some 41 years ago; however, as satisfying as tying well made flies is, fishing is the reason I stated to tie and fishing is far more satisfying than tying for no other reason than it gets me out into God's creation to some rather beautiful places.

11-07-2003, 02:42 PM
i don't know what it is but recently i've been getting bored while fishing
my greatest sattisfaction is on a hard day and sudnly figure it out and catch a lot of fish but other than that it's tying for me
esspecially when you create a new pattern

Bob Pauli
11-07-2003, 03:50 PM
Interesting question! Every sport/activity has a similar dilemma.

There are those who love to build [race] cars and those who prefer to drive [race] them.

Hang around an airport and see folks who prefer to work on airplanes rather than fly them. Speybum will verify this.

There certainly must be firearm aficionados that would rather create a beautiful shotgun or super-accurate rifle than to hunt or target shoot with it.

We read daily of business-crazed types that would rather spend their lives building fortunes than enjoy the fruits of their work by taking major hunks of time to enjoy the world and its infinite possibilities.

How many computer types prefer programming the machine to using ready-made applications and games?

DH- maybe another question fits here: How many prefer to build a rod to casting and fishing it?

How many prefer time on "" to time fishing?

For me the answer to all these questions is easy: go fishin'.

Dble Haul
11-07-2003, 04:50 PM
Bob, that's the kind of introspection and thinking that I was referring to. Your description and details have accurately captured the conundrum of answering this potentially difficult question.

Regarding the rod (building vs. fishing)...perhaps in due time we'll get it posted on the Rod Rack forum.

Great input from all so far. :)

Nooksack Mac
11-07-2003, 05:18 PM
Fly tying is a craft, and no more or less interesting than many other crafts that can be practiced sitting at a desk or bench (polishing precious stones, arranging stamp albums, developing and printing photos, etc.) But fishing is a true multi-media experience. It is logical, empirical, athletic, exploratory, sensory,traditional/radical, competitive/contemplative. It is sudden direct contact with a primordal creature that lives vividly in the now, whether or not it is struggling for its life. It spans all but the extreme ends of the ages of man, filling the minutes and decades.
Tiers watch; anglers do.

11-07-2003, 05:38 PM
Fishing. I tie most of my flies the night before I go fishing. This is why I will never be a real good fly tyer. I tie my own flies because I know what I want to fish the next day and I don't want to visit the fly shop at 5 in the morning. They won't be open anyway and the owner really doesn't like it when I call at 5 in the morning.

11-07-2003, 05:43 PM
I tie to catch fish. I like the look of a fly that won't foul and will provide the action I need to feel the tug. I enjoy tying during the winter but it is the past and future memories that the time helps to evoke and create that brings me to sit down.


11-07-2003, 06:02 PM
Tying or fishing?
Fishing the ocean, or fishing the river?
Trout or stripers? Steelhead or salmon?
Islay or Highland?
Casting or tying?
Native or hatchery?
Camping out or hanging at the motel?
Bullshitting or tying?
Albie or bonito?
Fishing with the kids, or fishing with the pals?
Mountain or beach?
River or lake?
Amber or pilsner?
Fast action or full flexing?
Dry or wet?
Swing or free-drift?
Single handed or double handed?
Overhand or spey?
Upriver mend, or downriver mend?
Black or orange?
Clouser or deceiver?
Tube fly or salmon hook?
Synthetic drag or cork?
Vest or chest pack?
Left hand or right retrieve?
Breathable or vinyl?
Pontoon ot kickboat?
Felt or stud?
Wet wade or goretex?
Sinking line or floater?
Flourocarbon or mono?
Indicator or fish like a man?
Split shot or line control?
Straight eye or loop eye?

I think the essence of the question is to bring out all the stuff besides the actual fishing itself... point taken!

Thank goodness I don't have to give up any of it!

11-07-2003, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by Smcdermott
I enjoy tying during the winter

that is probably what i am going through right now not much action (bass fishing with regular tackle) and that is why i get bored plus trout season has been closed since sept 30 and i already have cabin fever

Robert Burton
11-07-2003, 08:22 PM
Without the fishing i wouldn't tie wthout the tying i would just buy them and go fishing.

But it does bring up the point about the many aspects of fly fishing. Which do you like better
casting or catching?
casting is a zen like thing and catching is the life is a circle thing
dry fly vs nymph
drys are very fun with a nice visual component nymphing w/o an indicator is again very zen like
big fish vs little fish with a big fight

These questions,answers and rewards are what makes this pastime so attractive.....:)

11-07-2003, 11:05 PM
Legend says......
That Adam may have taught his sons to flyfish....but did he tie, or was he a fisherman?

On a personal note, I let the tiers tie 11% of the time so I can fish 79% of the time...

I mean, well someone has got to be the test pilot, right?

(I wonder if Chuck Yeager was a flyfisherman?):confused:


11-08-2003, 09:19 AM
I enjoy the creative side of tying. Taking a standard pattern and making modifications to it, eventually evolving it into something I can call my own. To do this I have to goto the rivers and the ocean to test the pattern. Without one the other would be pointless. The greatest satisfaction comes from knowing you caught a fish on something you made yourself.
I feel they are both tied so closely together it's impossible to determan what is more enjpyable.
Tight Lines!

11-08-2003, 11:14 AM
Definitely flyfishing. Tying is just one subset of the activities, thoughts, emotions and experiences (and expenses :devil: ) that make up flyfishing as a whole. I do enjoy tying flies, but I pretty much tie them only because I use them when I fish. Still, if I were unable to fish for some reason, but still able to tie flies, I would probably continue tying as a way to stay involved in the sport.


Dble Haul
11-08-2003, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by juro

I think the essence of the question is to bring out all the stuff besides the actual fishing itself... point taken!


11-08-2003, 06:23 PM
I vote flyfishing, though at the price of some patterns I use as "go to", I'm not sure I'd be able to afford flyfishing if I didn't tie, as well! :chuckle:

11-08-2003, 07:41 PM

Chuck Yeager was and is a flyfisherman. He has been doing so since he was child. Don't know if he ties flies though.

There was a fine article in Fly Rod & Reel about Yeager's flyfishing a few years back.

Just me
11-08-2003, 10:06 PM
If I had to depend on me tying flies to fish with I wouldn't be able to get out there and would have to go back to the dark side to fish. I'd just as soon have everybody else tie and then I go fish. In other circles I'm know as the Shaky Kid. My hands shake so bad I have to find a log to sit my butt on to just tie on a fly.(yes Bobk this is me.)


Doc Duprey
11-09-2003, 07:18 PM
Think if I had to shoose one or the other...I couldn't.

So shoot me.:confused:

Actually, if I could only do one or the other, I'd probably quit. What makes it all work for me is the way it becomes so thoroughly integrated into my life, as Juro's comment so well expressed. Life is all about choices, and the choices we make about our sport are a part of that totality that both defines us and is constantly (re)created by us.

Now, as to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin...

Best regards,


11-18-2003, 05:46 AM
I would go with flyfishing or any type of fishing for that matter. Its what keeps me sane. The shoe recently dropped on me and I have been laid off. The season is over but now I have flytying to get me through this difficult period. I know there are others out there in a similar situation.

11-18-2003, 03:49 PM
i am still trying to get my first job

and have only relatives for references for the most part having a hard time

11-18-2003, 07:10 PM
I didn't cast a ballot. To me, it's a mixed bag - one feeds the other. The ULTIMATE goal of both is to fool fish into striking at a unique creation of fur and feathers - at least for me.


11-18-2003, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by BobK
The ULTIMATE goal of both is to fool fish into striking at a unique creation of fur and feathers

well said

11-19-2003, 01:21 AM
This is an easy one. I`d rather be fishing, except for a few days in Dec., Jan., and Feb. I tie a LOT of flies as anyone thats seen my boxes knows, and I feel I`ve missed somthing if I don`t tie a few each night of the off season. This year I`ve been trying to cut back because there is no need to have so many and still my wallets are bulging. But I think this obsession would quickly melt away if I couldn`t fish my creations.

11-19-2003, 07:14 AM
If I find some of that Tibetan bunny for you will you quit fishing?:D

11-30-2003, 11:14 PM
well it didn't take too much thought, i could have gone either way before my last trip to the Thompson River in B.C. but after that trip by far and away fly fishing. Extreme cold, high winds, chipping ice, 1 week, 35" hen, lots of backing, 'nuff said.

12-01-2003, 07:27 AM
If I had to choose then its a no-brainer - I'd rather be fishing any day. Fly tying became an integral part of the experience a long time ago and fly fishing wouldn't be the same without it.

12-01-2003, 10:30 PM
The season here is 12 months , fishing takes up the daylight hours, fly tying takes up the hours of darkness. Tying sometimes becomes a means to an end so you can fish in the morning. Fishing 200 plus days is tough but somebody has to do it.

Tight lines


12-01-2003, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by Tayside
...Fishing 200 plus days is tough but somebody has to do it.

Tight lines


That wasn't very nice. :hehe: