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-four



Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

"The first Beaverkill fly was tied about 1850 by Harry Pritchard after an English pattern furnished to him by Judge Fitz James Fitch, County Judge and Surrogate, 1855-1863, of Greene County, New York, who named the fly after his favorite stream, the Beaverkill, in Sullivan County, New York.

It is believed that the English pattern so copied was the Silver Sedge.

Harry Pritchard and his brother Thomas, both formerly of England, were the sons of Stephen Pritchard, tackle maker, of the market town of Builth in Brecknochshire, in the Wye River Valley. They were operating a sporting goods store, a "regular rendezvous for anglers," which they had established in 1855 at 50 Fulton Street in New York City.

Harry Pritchard was one of the finest fly casters of his time, 1875 - 1890. It was after him that the roll cast was for some time called the Pritchard cast, because he used it very successfully at a distance flycasting tournament in 1881. In the execution of the Pritchard cast the fly does not leave the water except on the roll, nor does it go behind the caster.

The fly as originally tied was similar to the present male or Mr. Beaverkill. Mr. Pritchard's pattern called for dressing with a light body and gilt strip ribbing, brown hackle and mallard wings.

The present dry and more popular pattern of the female or Lady Beaverkill is of doubtful orgin."

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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