there's another side to the coin... perhaps he wants to give you some money.
as I get older it becomes less precious once everything else has been looked after...
I would have given him a quote like he asked. business is business.
see? this is a business dilemma.
the moral dilemma is solely your issue... an issue which you'd already answered the moment you recognised it as moral.
Your post has some very good points Shawn. The fact is he most certainly does wish to give here, and most likely money seemed like the most direct and practical form he could think of. He's a practical sort of guy. That's been the thorniest part for me sorting this out.
You're also very correct about the "moral dilemma" being my own making. Never really was interested in going into business with my fly tying, it's challenging enough as is! I could have just sold him some flies at a reasonable cost, and I'm sure he would be happy with the arrangement but it would turn things into something I'm not quite comfortable with.
. I would give them to your father-in-law with the understanding that they will come as you are able to make them. That way, there is no pressure on you. One or two at a time. Very nice to have family that thinks enough of your work to offer to purchase it. But exchange of dollars will (to some extent) turn the project into a job.
Your idea here has been one that I've been toying with from the beginning. The more I think about it, and the more comments I've read, the more this confirms my initial gut response. While kind and generous, I never really wanted "his business"; his order of flies shifted the context (inadvertently no doubt) to something not quite in line with my passion.
Your suggestion is probably the best of overall. I can still provide some colorful flies for him in due time, but not as a specific order, or on any specific timeline. It does take a lot of the pressure off me for sure.
I do believe I have a phone call to make today. Hopefully he will understand that I'm not really at a place in my tying to accept orders of that sort, but that I am happy to continue to share some of my rare gems that come off the vise.
Thanks for the feedback guys, it does help to solidify my thoughts on the matter.