And the folks who are having flies tied for between $2.00 and $5.00/day in labor costs for sale in the U.S. or other markets are still selling those same flies for a very high profit. How many flies have you seen of decent quality that are imported selling for $.50 each? I sure haven't. And how many of the imported flies are selling wholesale for $7.00/dozen for salmon and steelhead flies or $4.00/dozen for trout flies? Many of the importers are selling them wholesale for the same or very little less than what very good U.S. tyers will tie for.
Worse is how many shops do you know that have the majority of the flies they have in stock tied by U.S. tyers? Damn few in my experience, and it doesn't matter what area of the country you look. Almost without exception, shops are selling imported flies from the large importing manufacturers that are being tied with the $2.00 to $5.00/day labor. And some of these manufacturers own the hackle growing operation, are the hook distributer, and the material distributor; thus, they have extremely low costs.
Just because something can be produced with lower labor costs in another country does not mean it is the best thing for consumers, shops, or the wealthier industrialized countries. The big importing manufacturers make a lot of money doing this though, and it doesn't help the shops or tyers in the area (or country for that matter) that the shop is located in. And the shops aren't making anymore profit nor buying the flies any cheaper than from local tyers.
Food for thought, Hmmmmm..............