Often times when i sit down at my fly tying bench the first few flies of the night just don't seem to have that appeal that gives the angler the confidence that there is no way a fish could refuse this fly, as long as the drift is correct. It is a little frustrating but usually by the 3rd fly your hands get familiar enough with the motions and materials to gain control and produce a fly of satisfying quality. Breath a sigh of accomplishment and reward yourself for not throwing your vise accross the room.
It doesn't take a ton of skill to tie flies. I really believe anyone from age 7-70 can learn to do it but where the skill comes into play is disciplining yourself to be consistent at it. This comes from repetition and the good news is it doesn't take forever to get comfortable with tying. If you can set aside 20 minutes a day you'll be amazed at how quick your flies will develop into quality pieces. Even if you only tie one fly a night your skills begin to hone, especially if you tie the same pattern every night, and after two weeks you'll have a good start to your fly arsenal.
I've heard customers often say while they walk around the shop that fly fishing is a "Rich man's sport" and while i understand where that may come from if your looking at a rod rack full of $800 nine foot long sticks i believe this notion to be not entirely true. Fly fishing is as expensive as you want to make it. It all depends on how much time and effort you want to put into it. I have plenty of broke fishing bum friends who will attest to this, they make minimum wage and still fish 100 plus days a year.
Not only has the sport of fly fishing in the last ten years grown to accomadate almost any budget but there are plenty of ways to cut costs if you have the time to build things yourself like tying your own flies, or leaders, or rods. I realize as i write this it may seem contradictory for a guide/retailer in the fly fishing industry to be advising a potential customer to save his money but the reality is those who work in this industry should be the ambassadors of the sport and we make our money by introducing the joy of fishing to others. I didn't get into this to get rich i do it for the love of the sport and passion for the quality of life fly fishing has provided me with. However i would strongly like to emphasize SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FLY SHOP even if it's just a couple bucks in tying materials that is what keeps the local shop's lights on and we greatly appreciate your support.
I also realize that not everybody has the extra time in their life to build everything themselves so that is part of the service that fly shops and guides provide. I suppose it's the same realationship between any customer and professional, would you rather pay a lawyer to represent you or go to school for 8 years to learn the justice systems intricacies. So a guide or shop employee is offering you their experience and knowledge in a similar way.
So maybe not everybody has their whole life to dedicate to fly fishing but most of us can find 20 minutes in the day to practice casting or tying flies. That consistency with maybe a little guidance from your friendly local fly fishing experts can transform your casting into controlled elegant loops or your flies into a true imitation of nature. Keep at and the fishing gods will reward you graciously.