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 thirty-three
Compiled by Deanna Birkholm
Archive of Old Flies
The Iron fraudator is a name which may not be
familiar to you but to many easterners it is the earliest of the May
flies. They usually hatch the first week in May.
If that sounds like it should be another fly, you are right. Some claim
the Iron fraudator is exactly the insect which Theodore Gordon copied
when creating his Quill Gordon (which should have been called the Gordon
Quill.) Nevertheless, the surprise is the Quill Gordon was not orginally
tied as a dry fly! At least not entirely. So what follows is the recipe for
the wet. See Quill Gordon for
the dry. The wet is described in several texts as an emerger.
According to Art Flick's new Streamside Guide, "Trout tend
to be very selective when feeding on this fly, and I would advise fishermen who
get on the streams early in the season to have a supply of them when starting out.
On many occasions I have seen fish refuse any other artificial.
The female is larger and slightly lighter in color than the male, but my experience has
been that trout will take a properly tied Quill Gordon with either light or dark dun
hackles. [I suspect this refers to the Blue Quill as well as the variance in hackle -
the Blue Quill also being a wet fly as well.]
Iron fraudator has two tails and has brown heart-shaped markings
on the legs, visible to the naked eye.
With normal water conditons, they emerge at about one-thirty P.M., the main
hatch coming at that time . . . there may be a small hatch in the morning, but the
one in the afternoon is of most importance to the fishermen."
Quill Gordon, (Iron Fraudator) Wet
Again from Art Flick, "There is another May fly, very similar to Iron
fraudator, which is much more prevalent in the West than in the East.
It is known as Rhithrogena and is rather common in Utah and
California and other western states. The nymphs can be distinguished very readily
by the red gills.
Hook: #6 or 8 low water salmon.
Tail: Blue dun cock's hackle.
Body: Three strands moose mane, two dark brown and one
natural light, over a padding of floss; body should be coated with a thin coat of
Wing: Grey mallard dyed summer duck, or Mandarin
An imitation of the fly has been found very effective tied the same as a Quill
Gordon on size 10 and 12 hooks."
Credits: Text from Art Flick's new Streamside Guide
by Art Flick, published by Crown Publishers. Color photo and recipe
from Forgotten Flies.
We appreciate use permission! ~ DLB
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