I do try and tie my own flies and I haven’t bought any dry flies for a long time, I did buy some weighted nymphs at the start of last season from Ebay and they are fine and boosted my small collection. I only buy small pieces of fur or sub standard capes due to the restrictions four young boys place on the family coffers, so when my wife who likes to frequent household auctions phoned me to say that the house she was looking round had a room solely devoted to fishing gear and fly tying I went along for a look. It was a lovely cottage, on about 1/2 acre but gradually being surrounded by new housing estates, the story was that the couple were splitting up after she ran away with her lover and demanded her half of the assets and he was selling everything at auction, furniture, cooker and all the fishing equipment a small box room could hold.
Now this room contained the contents of a fishing lifetime, fly rods, beach casters, spinning rods plus all the ancillary tackle. Many boxes of miscellaneous reels, flys and spinners plus the ubiquitous fishing related pictures on the wall. Very sad to witness what seemed to be the end of someones love of fishing as well as his relationship.
Due to my wife and I being unable to be at the auction together because one us always has to look after the four young boys we somehow ended up with she was charged with the task of bidding on the two carrier bags of fly tying material I had discovered in the room. There was lots of other things in there I would have liked to bid on but limited funds and the need for more important things made me narrow my needs to what looked like could be a good lot.
A fierce bidding war broke out when the auctioneer held aloft the two Tesco bags containing a multitude of dead things, to crys of disgust from the more gentle attendees. The one other bidder gave up when my wife shouted 20 Euro at the auctioneer and the deal was done. A nice hall table, a tall stool for the boys room and two bags of wings,fur and capes were picked up the next day and christmas came early for me.
All of a sudden my collection of tying materials went from a very small tin of the cheapest packets of unsuitable feathers to around 30 plus capes of various quality and colour,ten types of deer hair, squirrel tails, hare masks, starlings wings and mole backsides. You name it and I probably had a body part in the bag.
Now you would think that the abundance of quality material would mean that my flybox is bulging at the seams, but no it wasn’t that I didn’t have the right materials that held me back before as I thought. It was lack of skill and dedication to the task and now I have nowhere to hide. I am trying hard and the great responsibility put on my shoulders in taking over another mans collection of fur and feathers weighs heavy on my shoulders. I do like getting them all out, laying them on the table and looking at them and sometimes think that maybe stamp collecting would have been a better hobby.