Where is your shop? Well, I wish Columbia, SC could support a fly shop but right now it just will not. So I keep lots of inventory in stock at my home.
Rods, reels, flies, leaders, tippet, boots, tools, , hooks, fly tying materials, etc. So just contact me via e mail or phone and come by and check it out. If I don't have it, I can probably get if for you, I do that for a lot of people!
What advice do you have about buying a rod? I tell people of all skill levels not to buy a rod without casting it first. Even if you do not think you are a good enough caster to tell the difference, after casting several rods you will find some you really like, some you sort of like and some you don't like at all. But if you do not cast it, you will never know until it's too late.
Can you help me pick out flies to use locally and other places? Yes, I can help you pick out flies for trout, stripers, etc. locally and in other places. I have fished all over the United State and can give you advice for all kinds of places like Yellowstone, Glacier, Wyoming, California, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, B.C., etc. You will even find effective flies you cannot find other places, like Coffey Nymphs, Beastmasters, woodduck emergers, navy divers and others.
What brands do you sell? TFO, Mystic, Hareline, Wapsi, Fishpond, Chota, Montana Fly Co., Rio, Sci Angler, OPST, Anglers Image, Flymen/Fishskull, Thingamabobber, Croakies, Gamakatsu, Tiemco, Daiichi, Mustad, Partridge, Ahrex, Lightning Strike, etc.
I have some really basic questions, will you laugh at me? No! I have taught Boy Scouts how to tie flies and fly fish, I have taught disabled veterans how to tie flies and fly fish, I have taught women how to fly cast and fly fish. Perhaps the most frequent question I get is what is the difference between the leader and tippet and how do I add tippet to my leader. Since I started fly fishing in 1992, I have made just about every mistake possible, so you are in good company.
Do you take credit cards? Yes. But if you are a TU Member and pay by cash or check you get a 5% discount except on previously used items. Think of it like this, if you pay by cash or check, it's almost like only 2% of your money goes to the riverwalk, schools, roads, etc.
How do I Get Started in Fly Tying?
A lot of people ask me this question. It seems pretty daunting to get started with all the patterns, materials, tools, techniques, etc. Well the best way is to just get started.
First realize what fly tying will not do for you.
It will not save you money or room in your house
It will probably will not allow you to tie flies as pretty as the ones you see in the store
It will not raise your blood pressure (most of the time)
It will not make you spend more time with your family
It will not keep your kitchen table uncluttered
What will fly tying do for you?
It will make you a better problem solver
It will make you better with your hands
It will improve your patience
It will make you a better fisherman fisherperson(?)
It will help you tie flies you cannot buy
It will help you tie flies in the size, color shape, etc. you cannot otherwise find
It will help you look forward to the trips you take
It will let you forget about things while you are tying.
What do I do to get started?
Buy a fly tying kit, throw the vise away, and buy a decent vise
Get a fly tying friend to help you; you really cannot learn from a book; you can sort of learn from videos especially more advanced techniques, but the best way is in person with the instructor helping you every step of the way
Watch videos and practice the techniques
Set aside a dedicated area for tying. If you don’t, it is unlikely you will tie flies on a regular basis
If you stick with it, buy more and nicer tools and buy materials for specific flies you want to tie
Start off simple and work your way up to more difficult patterns
Tie several of the same fly at one time, repetition is your friend
Buy a recipe book (we call it a pattern book in fly tying). Put the materials on the hook in the order listed in the pattern.
Keep notes of what works on certain patterns
Realize there are a lot of ways to do something, so don’t be afraid to experiment. That is part of the fun.
First learn to use a half hitch tool and then learn to whip finish as soon as possible.
Buy several bobbins, so you can keep several types and colors of thread ready
Realize even ugly flies can catch fish, so can simple flies, so can complex flies
Learn to improvise, otherwise the bit above about your blood pressure not going up will not be true
Try to keep your fly tying area tidy. Come up with an organization system that works for you.
Tie regularly, at least at first. After you have been tying a while you can pick it back up easier if you take a break.
Download the hareline app at Apple App Store or Google Play, Fill up your cart and forward it to me for easy ordering. You cannot buy it direct you must go through a Hareline Dealer.
Remember if you are a beginner and buy a kit from me, I will give you a free 45 minute fly tying lesson (actually it will probably go longer than that)! If you have questions about buying a kit for yourself, getting a kit for a gift or giving a kit for a gift, call me at 803-466-8162 and save yourself a lot of stress and confusion.