There are many differences between fly-fishing and using your favorite baitcaster. One of the reasons is you can make your own lure for fly-fishing. Now I know that you can make regular lures for fishing, but every time I've tried to whittle out a topwater lure, I have to keep fixing and whittling so it ends up being about the size of the end of my pinky. But I usually don't have to worry about painting them because I'll lose about half a pint of blood onto it when I'm trying to carve on my chunk of wood. And don't even ask about my homemade spinners, they usually look like an oversized muskie used them for bubble gum.
But this is where creating flies is different. From what I've learned about fly fishing, the uglier the fly; the better it works -- and building ugly things is where I reign. Plus, if you mess up your pattern, just give your new creation an impressive name (example: doodlicous-boogiebung). Then, when you display it to your fishing buddy, you can say: "You've never heard of a doodlicous-boogiebung? What kind of fly fisherman are you?" If you do this with just a touch of superiority, you can either make them feel like an inferior fisherman, or make them feel gullible for believing you. (It's worth a shot.)
Believe me, though, if you've never tied your own flies, then you definitely have to try it out. I recently had the pleasure of playing with the White River Fly Shops' Tying Kit for trout and panfish. The kit includes materials and video instructions on how to tie a variety of patterns (including the Woolly Booger, of course). But since this is the first time I've ever tied flies in my life, I figured that it would be best if I didn't use any of their patterns. And, as you probably guessed, my first couple of flies didn't turn out too well -- they were definitely ugly, but not the right kind of ugly (the kind that catch fish). But after I watched the instructional video featuring Lefty Kreh, I was able to tie a few decent flies.
And unlike some of the kits out there, this one comes with all the stuff you'll see featured on the video. Included are a thread bobbin, hackle pliers, bobkin, scissors, vise, thread cement, an assortment of thread and hooks and tons of material so you can have plenty of chances to make that perfect fly.
Even if you don't think you'd be very good at fly-tying, I would still give this kit a shot. I'm no great fly-tier (or fly-fisherman for that matter), but I had fun just getting in there and seeing what I could create.
Just imagine when you get out there and catch a trout on a fly you tied yourself.