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 thirty-seven

Skitterbug

Skitterbug

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm


"This pattern was originated and tied by Dick Stewart, chief resident fly tyer of the Dick Surette Fly Fishing Shop, in 1975. Each and every year we have a goodly number of requests to tie the Hewitt Skater Spider, but we always had a difficult time finding the long stiff hackles to do the job properly by our critical standards.

The ingenious method of attaching deer body hair as hackle does the job very adequately and actually makes a more durable and higher-floating fly which has definite advantages. Deer body hair is very available andis just coming into full usage as a fly tying material.

A fly such as the Skitterbug design is used as a last resort when you can't seem to move salmon under low and warm water conditions. The salmon under these conditions is logy and prone to be at his most selective. This is the time to use the Skitterbug. Skitter and bounce the fly along the surface in a very erratic fashion; you may arouse the salmon's curiosity and a savage strike will ensue. The same fly tied in trout sizes is excellent for trout, as described in Hewitt's Telling on the Trout."

Skitterbug

    Hook:   Mustad #94840 or #94833 sizes 4-6-8-10.

    Thread:   Pre-waxed black monocord.

    Body/Hackle:   Natural deer hair. One secton spun on pointing forward tied at the rear of the hook. One section spun on with tips pointing to rear, tied at front of hook. Both sections pushed toward center and butts clipped.

Credits: Quoted text, recipe and photo, from Dick Surette's Trout and Salmon Fly Index published by Stackpole Books. ~ DLB

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