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 fifty-nine

General Money

General Money

Compiled By Deanna Birkholm
Fly dressed by Arthur James Lingren

From Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedley, "This fly is named after its creator, Brigadier General Noel Money, of Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Roderick Haig-Brown dedicates his two volumes, The Western Angler, 1939, to the General, who he says, 'is the finest and most experienced steelhead fly fisherman in British Columbia.' Two more of the General's favorites are Dick's Fly and the Prawn Fly." Quoting from some letters written to Harold Hinsdill Smedley by the General in 1939, "In some of the big rivers on our West Coast we have a run of these big trout [winter steelhead] starting in May and going on to October. This fly fishing, I consider the best in Canada, except for Atlantic salmon in the East, but our steelheads are better fish than salmon - much more lively and jump more. Twenty-three and one-half pounds is the heaviest I know of."

The General

In Fly Patterns of British Columbia, author Arthur James Lingren states, "The General, after coming to British Columbia in 1913, fished extensively on the east coast of Vancouver Island, but his favourite stream was the Stamp River, near Port Alberni located at the head of Alberni Inlet on the west coast of Vancouver Island. In a note written in his game book on October 14, 1922, the General commented on the fishing he experienced in this uncrowded land: "A grand season 77 fish, averaging just under 7 pounds - all rainbows [steelhead] but 2, which were cutthroat trout . . ." The General, one of British columbia's first steelhead fly fisherman, had a profound influence on the young Roderick Haig-Brown and what he was to later write about steelhead fly fishing."

When the General passed on in 1941, Mrs. Money passed his fly box on to Haig-Brown and Haig Brown filled emply clips with some of his own or flies given him. Haig-Brown valued the contributions of those that came before him and, although he did use some of the Money patterns, he preserved this Money treasure and it is now part of our fly fishing heritage."

General Money No. 1

    Hook: Number 2/0 to 4.

    Tag: Oval, silver tinsel.

    Tail: A small clump of golden pheasant breast feather fibres.

    Body: Rear 2/5s of oval silver tinsel; front 3/5s black polar bear underfur or black wool.

    Ribbing: Oval silver tinsel.

    Throat: Burgundy hackle.

    Wing: Orange swan.

    Cheeks: Jungle cock.

    Originator: General Noel Money.

    Intended Use: Wet fly for summer steelhead.

    Location: Stamp River, Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada.

"General Money's flies were some of the first patterns developed for British Columbia's summer-run steelhead. Money's No.1 and 2 patterns were a result of many years' experimentation with different colour schemes and fly tying material combinations.

General Money's No.1 fly with its colour combination of silver, black, orange and burgundy is quite unique. . .

For decades, until it went out of business in April 1982 after 63 years, Harkley & Haywood sporting goods store in Vancouver was the emporium of choice for many sportsmen. They kept a record of yearly fly sales and into the 1970s General Money's patterns topped the sales list for steelhead patterns." ~ DLB

Credits: Dressing, fly photo, photo of 'the General' and last three paragraphs from Fly Patterns of British Columbia by Arthur James Lingren, published by Frank Amato Publications, Portland Oregon. Other credits as noted in the text. Ours sincere thanks for use permission.

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