View Full Version : fly swap assistance, simple things...

03-04-2011, 06:48 AM
I am looking for a little advice, common knowledge that isn't so common to me.

I've hosted my first swap and it was successfu but long and arduous at best. All the flys arrived but it was a head ache for me to divide the flys. I feel I let my fellow swappers down in not providing good instruction as well.

I did have a lot of fun with tying and sharing our flys as our group is based in a relatively new form of fly fishing and fly tying, Japanese tenkara.

My questions are this; can you help me in understanding the basic instructions of what to detail to my fellow swappers? Not what patterns but simple stuff as in instructions in what should be included in the package?

I may have all the basics down already: SASE, Altoids tin container, descriptive tags for each fly, etc.

I want to keep the quality very high. I want to make sure I am serving the group well.

If you have some constructive criticism or links, cut and paste instructions on how to divide the flys, anything to help, I would truly appreciate it.

I am learning by doing and I really want to make sure that I am not letting anyone down.

Thank you in advance.

03-04-2011, 01:05 PM
First and foremost, you want to make sure that the people on your tying list are credible and committed to your swap (nothing worse then a Chuffer, someone who will blow your swap off at the last minute, never send the flies, etc.) I do set a reasonable deadline, but take into account if there is a valid excuse (such has a screwed up Postal service that may lose a person's flies in the mail).
Flies should be sent in a bubble mailer as well as returned in a self-addressed & stamped bubble mailer (or at least they should send you the stamps or money to cover the postage. Several times I have had to eat the cost in postage).
Flies can be put in an Altoids tin, protective fly box, or even in a Walgreens Pill bottle (might have to use more then one). Tyer should always make sure that whatever container the flies are shipped in, that they take into account that the container should have enough room for the return flies. Flies should be properly toetagged as to type of pattern, size, and the name of the tyer (e-mail addy also helps). Pattern recipe should be posted on the site, and is best posted after everyone has received their flies (so they have a visual model to work from). It is a great idea to keep a list (or file on your computer) of everyone's contact info whether it be e-mail address, as well as mailing address, etc. Keep in constant touch with all tyers especially as to updates. All personal info should be PM'd. Keeping a file of present tyers and even past tyers in your swaps is great in that you will get an idea of what tyers you may want to invite back to future swaps that you host. I do like to try and make my swaps educational. Keep the number of tyers in your swap reasonable. I have had tyers after the sign-up deadline bellyache that they did not get to join the swap. I had one year where I ended up having to make two list of tyers, still had people I had to turn away, still had people bellyache, and even some that after they committed, they chuffed on the swap (UNCOOL) I have debated as to whether pictures of all the flies should be posted along with recipes. Why the debate you ask ? Those people that did not participate or take interest in your swap really should not get free access to the pattern recipes and pictures of the flies in your swap (especially if there were some newly developed patterns by a tyer in your swap or by yourself). Granted, I myself have been kind as to make sure pictures and recipes are posted in my swaps, but I have had a person on every swap (this person has not taken part or contributed in any way to my swaps) constantly ask if there are going to be pictures and recipes of all the flies in my swaps. For those who do not take part in the swap, that is "F" ing RUDE :x !!! If the swap host has pictures and recipes of all the swap patterns posted, it is that person's choice to post such, and I am sure he/she/it will post such out of kindness; first and foremost to benefit those tyers who did take part in your swap and received the swap flies. :roll:
So much for my sermon on Fly swaps. Hope it helped just a bitsy Adam. I am sure there are other swap host that have even more advise.

03-08-2011, 10:07 AM
When I did them a lot long ago, I had a dedicated cupcake pan. It had a dozen holes, and I usually limited swaps to ten or twelve people. When the flies came in the mail, I divvy'd them up in to the pan. Then when the last ones came, they were already sorted...

03-09-2011, 08:16 AM

That is it!

Very efficient, a great idea. I use twelve glasses and it is a hassle.

Stoked, thank you!

You too Alpinefly.