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
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 twenty-eight
Thunder and Lightning
Compiled By Deanna Birkholm
Archive of Old Flies
"The Thunder and Lightning was once known as the
"Great Storm fly," deriving its name from the fact
that in its early days it was universally used when the
water was rising after a storm. At this time the appetite
of the salmon or grilse is thought to be more keen, and
with the proper fly success more probable. But of late
other patterns have become more valued for this state
of the water, and the Thunder and Lightning is considered
best to raise fish in low clear water, or for autumn
"Mr. George Kelson writes: "it has been proven that the
fly can also be advantageously used on other occasions
than in clear water. Under trees in bright water, or
in water that is slightly discolored, the fly certainly
shows well, and therefore should kill well. I cannot
call to mind any other standard pattern that is equally
effectual, regardless of changeable weather, state of the
water, either clear or dirty, or the humor of the fish.
There is no river that I have ever visited where it has
not succeeded at one time or another."
The recipe is: Thunder and Lightning (As tied by Mary Orvis Marbury)
The recipe above is for the fly shown at the top -
one of nine different variations I found for this fly.
Another version is shown at the right.
Tag: Fine oval tinsel and yellow floss.
Tail: Golden pheasant crest.
Butt: Black ostrich herl.
Body: Black floss.
Rib: Embossed gold tinsel and orange hackle
Throat: Eurasian jay.
Wing: Teal; bronze mallard over.
Shoulder: Jungle cock.
Topping: Golden pheasant crest.
Horns: Blue and gold macaw.
Head: Black ostrich herl.
Credits: quoted sections and information from Favorite
Flies and Their Histories by Mary Orvis Marbury,
re-published by Lyons Press.
Color photo and recipe from Forgotten Flies.
We appreciate use permission! ~ DLB
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