Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of methods and flies that used-to-be. These flies were tied with the only materials available. Long before the advent of 'modern' tying materials, they were created and improved upon at a far slower pace than todays modern counterparts; limited by materials available and the tiers imagination.
Once long gone, there existed a 'fraternity' of anglers who felt an obligation to use only the 'standard' patterns of the day. We hope to bring a bit of nostalgia to these pages and to you. And sometimes what you find here will not always be about fishing. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish the flies. Perhaps?
The Semper Fi
The Semper Fi was conceived as a special fly for those who served the United States as a Marine.
The source of the inspiration for the fly first started with a friend of mine, Euyless Holcomb, who, by any measurable standard, is one of the best men that I know, a true gentleman. He and his wife, Aurora, are master wood carvers and create birds that you would swear are so real that they might fly away if you get too close.
Recently I also discovered that he is a Marine. Bear in mind that he has not been on active duty for over the past 20 years, but there is no such thing as an ex-Marine. Further, he bought a fly fishing outfit and asked me to teach him how to cast and other matters or importance in fly fishing. I was honored to help him get started.
Because of all of these happenings, I began to think about a fly that would be uniquely suited for a Marine. So I did some research. The Marine Corps was established on Nov. 10, 1775 as naval infantry. Since then they have participated in every armed conflict. Because of their mobility, their role has become a rapid response arm of the United States in the establishment and execution of US foreign policy. Their motto is Semper fidelis meaning always faithful; members usually shorten it to “Semper Fi”. Their colors are red and gold.
Therefore, the tail and body of the fly represent the colors of the Corps. The wings are the USA colors of red, white and blue parted by a single crest feather of a golden pheasant. The construction of the fly is classically American by the use of married feathers and other techniques. Like the Marines, it embodies the unique qualities that define us as Americans.
I gave Euyless a framed “Semper Fi” and he was so pleased that I knew it was just the right gift. If you know a deserving Marine and have the tying skills to make this fly, make it and give it as a gift. They deserve it. Who knows, it may even catch fish.
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