I have been thinking about the progression through fly tying for myself recently. For fly fishing I've read a couple of different ones, like:
1. Catch a fish
2. Catch more fish
3. Catch a fish on a home tied fly
4. Catch bigger fish
5. Catch fish all over the world etc etc
I've also read about why people get into fly tying, to save money etc so here is my thoughts on the progression through fly tying:
1. I want to start fly tying to save money, tied nicer flies than some store bought creations and its a challenge to catch fish on home tied flies.
2. Hmmm.....some stuff is expensive. I'll try cheaper options. Ah, some stuff can be bought cheaper, others (e.g. good quality hackle) I need to shell out for. I may not save money doing this...
3. I definitely won't save money doing this...
4. So far, my flies do not look as good as quality store bought flies....
5. To solve this I need to buy more stuff.
6. I need more stuff.
7. I WANT MORE STUFF.
8. Where can I find fly tying stuff in everyday life (I call this the "magpie effect").
9. I WANT EVEN MORE STUFF. SERIOUSLY.....MORE STUFF.
10. Ok, I've reached a standard where I can catch fish on my flies....now I want to tie realistic flies!
11. Oh man, I need a ridiculous amount of new stuff now....How naive I was 10 bullet points ago saying I could save money....
12. Ok, I've got a fly box full of (semi) realistic flies. I'm at the river. Which one to choose? Ok, I'll use the same 4-8 fly pattern I use all the time. Why did I start this?!?
13. I can't stop. I now have no issue spending 45mins to an hour tying one heptagenid or baetis nymph (copying Oliver Edwards et al) whereas before hand I didn't have the patience to sit still for more than 10 minutes...
This is about the stage I have reached right now. I think it is becoming a full blown addiction, fulfilling my fix of fly fishing during the weekdays, ready for actuall fishing over the weekends. Luckily I have a supportive girlfriend and family who like like to feed the addiction at any birthday or xmas!