Like Steelheader69 found, nearly every shop here in the Puget Sound area sells imported steelhead flies for prices that would allow them to buy from domestic tyers. I know of no shops that are exclusively fly fishing in this area that sell steelhead flies for less than $2.50/fly. And speys and G.P.'s are being sold for $3.50 to $5.00/fly. At the same time, they want local tyers to tie the standard steelhead flies for $9.00 to $11.00/dozen (remember they are selling them for $2.50 each) and the speys for $12.00 to 16.00/dozen (which they are selling for $3.50 to $4.00 each. G.P.'s they want for $14.00 to $18.00/dozen (and they sell them for $4.00 to $5.00 each).
I will not tie speys for these prices (and the local shops expect blue eared pheasant or Whiting Spey Hackle at this price from local tyers) because you cannot tie a dozen well-tied ones in an hour. Likewise, I will not sell G.P.'s for for these prices because you cannot tie half a dozen of well-tied ones in an hour. The shops are charging enough for the imported flies that they could easily pay local tyers reasonable prices for them; however, nearly none of them will.
And I have seen very few imported flies tied with cheap labor that were of high quality. Even the so-called superior flies of Umqua are not of consistent quality, and they aren't cheap wholesale.
Fly fishers will pay a reasonable amount for quality well-tied domestic flies. A better question is: Why do shops buy imported flies at $5.00 to $7.00/dozen and then sell them for $1.50 to $2.00 each and expect local tyers to sell better quality at the same price/dozen as the cheap imported flies? Likewise, why will shops buy from Umqua at prices very comparable to what U.S. tyers need to get and then expect local tyers to sell for less?
Sorry about the rant on shops regarding local vs, imported flies. It is just maddening to see this and then see shops tell local tyers they can't make a profit if they buy local flies.