Alternative fly tying materials: A must for anglers on a $ diet
Alternative fly tying materials like Fly fishing hooks, dubbing, feathers, beads, cones, tools, and more can be substituted and save a lot of money; if you know what you’re doing.
What about using craft store and dollar type store items instead of more expensive fly fishing industry-supplied tying materials and supplies?
NOTE 1: Industry supplied tying materials are much better than substitute materials mentioned here.
By Skip Clement
A look through my horde of substitute fly-tying materials from chain drug stores, Dollar Stores, Walmart, Home Depot/Lowes stores, craft stores, and auto parts stores produced the listings below.
NOTE 2: Acquiring the items listed below will involve visiting Walmart, Dollar Store [several iterations thereof], Lowes or Home Depot, Michaels and JOANN fabric craft stores, and Ulta Body or Sally Beauty stores. The best sources mentioned above are Dollar type stores, craft stores, and Walmart.
Bags of marabou feathers in many colors
Beads: plastic, and glass
Poppers: soft plastic ear protection buds and cheap foam sandals
Thin foam sheets [beetles, ants, dragonflies] Seat cushions [walmart]
Epoxies – craft stores, others
Paints – craft stores, others
Dubbing – carpet scraps
Yarn – many colors [chenille], Scrubby Sparkle.
Fly hooks – Walmart
Balloons used for shellbacks/scud patterns, shrimp carapaces
Squirmy Wormy toys – baitfish [dollar type stores
Wigs, synthetic fibers, Kaneklon hair [available salon stores] Plastic gift wraps that come in metallic, pearly, or transparent finishes.
Permanent sharpie markers
Envelope windows: transparent wings, wing cases, and shellbacks on
nymphs or scuds.
Quilting and Macramé spooled threads are good alternatives to
conventional tying threads.
Monofilament [clear] thread
Wire spools for ribbing or bite guard [craft store item] Fly and hook boxes use pill reminder boxes. They come in various sizes.
NOTE 3: Featured Image fly fishermen in Margaree River, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. ASA photo credit.