Fly Rod and Reel Magazine has an interesting article online discussing the world of commercially tied flies. Many of the flies you buy at a fly shop are made in Thai “factories” like the one seen below. The jobs in these factories pay relatively well and the job is considered a good profession by those employed to do it.
“We have one lady in Sri Lanka,” says Umpqua’s Bruce Olson with obvious pride, “who is the world expert on the Copper John. She is the best the world has ever known at tying that fly. John Barr [the inventor and namesake of the Copper John] isn’t even in her league.”