If you think you have an interest in tying realistic flies, I have some pointers you should keep foremost in your mind at all times.
- Don't count your time. This may sound crazy now but if speed is what you want, don't even think about it.
- Prepare yourself for a lot of ups and downs. Your personal failures will be many, and the comments you will get from people looking at your work will be even tougher on your ego. So get a thick skin. Don't let anyone or anything separate you from your goal.
- When someone asked me, that looks pretty good. How does it hold up to a fish? Don't let it get to you. Because, some of your creations won't take a thrashing. Remember you are in it for this reason if you want something that really holds up, get a Mepps spinner.
- If you copy another tyers work or pattern, try to improve on it. Otherwise get ready to hear, "Oh, that looks just like Bob Mead's ladybug". Do you know him? Take the good another tyer uses and make it your own, or keep on looking.
- Learn to keep your enthusiasm up. Remember there is a constant failure waiting for you around every corner. Just set some goals, write them down, and go to work.
- Tying is a lot like life. But if you really stick at it, you'll have success and you will toughen yourself for dealing with the inevitable setbacks.
- As an innovator what you do as no reference point. For me, only my own instinct and past experience suspect everything is an item of use. Take the Farmer John bacon wrapper for making wings. Know that you may have to change the material through molding, painting and heat treating. You may even have to create a tool in which to help you achieve your goal. When you're looking at a material you may say to yourself, that would make an excellent insect head or body if only it were round or square or something else. Then put on your thinking cap and think of how you could change it.
- You'll find that there are an interchange in materials you use as well as techniques. This alone will keep you inspired, because you found it, and you discovered how to use it and it looks like the real thing. Who knows, maybe it will be a source of income to you. I have had an enormous opportunity to sell materials that I use, I have just avoided it for fear of losing my focus. It was my thinking that I would lose my concentration. You'll probably end up selling your flies and materials. Many tyers do. The possibilities are endless. You may wish to mount your specimens. As I've said, the possibilities are endless.