Welcome to Just Old Flies

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 . . .

Part One hundred

Marlow Buzz

Marlow Buzz

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

"Edward Fitzgibbon, writing as Ephemera, said in his Handbook of Angling, 1847, 'What is called the buzz form, is an intended imitation of the natural fly strugling and half drowned. A fly with erect wings and one without them, or buzz, may be used on the casting line at the same time, the buzz imitation being the stretcher or tail fly.'

Ephemera also says: 'Some persons call this fly the Marlow Buzz, others the Lady Bird. At any rate it is intended to imitate a small winged beetle.'

According to James Rennie, Professor of Zoology, Kings College and author of Alphabet of Scientific Angling, the lady bird, a little, roundish, reddish beetle with black spots, is also called a dun-cut.

Cotton mentions a dun-cut as a fly to be used in the month of May.

A statement is found that it is also known as the Hazel fly. Another authority says the Hazel fly is the Welshman's Button, and I add, that almost makes the Marlow Buzz a Coch-y-bondhu Hackle.

T.C. Hoffman, in the British Anglers' Manual 1839, writes 'The Marlow Buzz is considered a good fly. These hackle or buzz flies are much more in use than winged flies.'"

The Marlow Buzz is described as:

    Body:  Peacock.

    Tip:  Gold.

    Hackle:  Furnace.

"Seth Green, in 1879, wrote that a 'buzz' was made with the 'hackle standing out the whole length of the body.' That would be like the present-day palmer tie.

There is a fly called the 'Gray Marlow.'

Who Marlow was I know not, unless he was Kit Marlow, mentioned by Izaak Walton as the able singer of the Milk Maid's Song."

Quoted section from Fly Patterns and Their Origins, published by Westshore Publications, Color photo from Forgotten Flies. We appreciate use permission!

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