Every time I shop for flies I get sticker shock. On one hand they are tiny works of art, its hard to believe they can sell them for so cheap. On the other hand: $4.00 for that little thing! The few places in my area that sell flies are ridiculously expensive. So, I shop online.
I know, I know, shopping in a locally owned fly shop is the trendy thing to do. I don't admit to others on the water that I shop online. Fly fishermen I meet are standoffish and snobbish enough. If I knew a local angler that tied flies and did not charge an arm and a leg I would go there. However, as it stands, I have found two excellent places to buy flies online.
The English Fly Shop
GASP! It's not even US based! I know. I don't like that either, but their selection and price cannot be beat. The quality is not top noch, but as good or better than what you will find at Bass Pro or Cabales. It has the best descriptors of the individual flies I have ever seen, sometimes several pages long.
Free worldwide shipping and 75 cents to $1.50 a fly. It takes a couple weeks to get them.
It is a fun old school web site. As an American I find the section on how "dangerous fishing in America" is very funny. Apparently "Tourist Fishermen visiting North America are in danger of being killed or seriously injured!!!" I think they are being serious, but it is hard to tell. If it is serious, then they are pussies.
Caylor Custom Flies
A small, US based fly fishing shop. They specialize in flies for Southern Appalachian streams and tailraces. The selection is moderate, but the prices are excellent and the quality is very high. Each fly is a work of art.
$2 shipping and $1 a fly, no minimums. They cost less if you buy a dozen. I got mine within three days.
It is a bare bones site, but it gets the job done. Where else can you get a size 6 crayfish for $1? My local bass pro shops charges $5 for a crayfish pattern less detailed!
I'm sure there are other great places to buy flies. These are the only two I have tried. I personally don't see the need to try any others.
No one paid me for this these reviews. I wish! I have purchased flies from these shops with my own money.