Potato wrote:This may sound silly, but I've seen some flies that I thought would have made great earrings or pendants. What about tying with synthetic fur and making jewelry instead of fishing flies?
Funny you should mention that. I used to make earings and such from fly tying materials.
There are some synthetic materials that are quite useful, but there are some things that you can only use natural materials for - no substitue.
There are some types of flies - flies that I am particularly interested in - that are tied more as art than for utility. One type is what are called Traditional Atlantic Salmon flies. In the late 1800's an Englishman named Kelson claimed to have fuigured out patterns that salmon would strike (spawning salmonids seldom eat). This was based on his insistence that spawning salmon ate butterflies. This lead to incredibly colorful and complex fly patterns.
This is called a Green Highlander, BTW.
Flies like this actually worked back in the day, but are so fragile, complex and expensive to tie these days, their only appeal is to collectors. The downside for me is that animals die to supply the materials. Many of the animals used to provide materials for Kelson-inspired patterns are on today's CITES and Endangered Species lists (swan, seal, bustard, Toucan, etc).
Unfortunately, for a Buddhist fly tyer, there's no way around the fact that something's gonna die for a fishing fly whether someone fishes with it or not.