but partially because fly tying is draining for me. I'm getting better, but it still wears me out. I am a perfectionist, so when I tie, each fly takes a long time. Most the time patterns don't look like I want and I get really pissed about it. That cycle gets tiring. A I said, I'm getting better, mostly because my tying is improving. I've also been tying with friends, which takes my mind off of it and allows me to enjoy tying for longer time periods. I hope to some day be able to sit down and pound out a dozen or two of the same fly, but if I tie more than three in a row now, I switch patterns.
Everything you wrote sounds so familiar to me! When I first started to tie I was much younger than you are now, maybe only 14, and I had the most primitive tools and materials. Actually my very first vise was one of stamped metal that had been cadium plated. There was a type of basic cam lever on the side that I pushed down once the hook was in the jaws. When I think back to that vise and those initial flies it is amazing that I stuck with it. Now I tie all of my #18 - #24 flies with my HMH vise with the midge jaws. I tie everything else with my Regal, even flies as small as #16.
I'm a perfectionist too and sometimes I'd get frustrated and lash out at the fly in the vise and bend it really badly or take a razor blade to the fly and slice it apart. I remember one instance when I was 21 years old and had seen an article in Outdoor Life about Tricos but I remember at that time they called them (incorrectly) Caenis and they were frigging small and I was all thumbs and after about four attempts I finally got one complete where I could still put the tippet through the eye.
For many years I would get ansty at the vise and my mind would wander and it would be very hard for me to tie more than three flies before getting up and quitting for awhile. Another thing I used to do, which I think is okay, would be to tie 2 or 3 of the same pattern then get bored and tie a completely different pattern.
I wouldn't worry about how long it takes you to tie a fly as long as you are having fun. If however it is taking a long time and you are frustrated then maybe you just aren't tying it correctly and you might need to watch a tutorial or have somebody show you how they tie it.
I've said this before but one of my biggest hurdles and stumbling blocks was that often I didn't have the right materials to tie the fly according to the recipe. But as time went on I kept accumulating various materials until I had pretty much everything I needed to tie most any trout or steelhead fly I wanted. One great thing about fly tying material is for the most part once you get something it does last a very long time unless of course you tie professionally. I've got eight Metz #1 dry fly capes that I bought back in 1978 and while the "sweet spot" (#12 - #18) is pretty well picked out there are still plenty of hackles for bigger dry flies. The Hoffman saddles I bought back in early 1990's have an average feather length of 8" and each feather can tie 6 - 8 flies easily so they too last a long time. Ditto for pieces of deer and elk hair. It might take a while to put it all together and it will cost between $800 - $1000 exclusive of your tools but it will last for years and the only purchases you will be making are maybe hooks and special new synthetics.