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 sixty-one

Kennebago Streamer

Kennebago Streamer

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

The creator of this early Maine streamer, Herbie L. "Herbie" Welch was legendary as a Maine guide, and known nationally as a taxidermist, artist and fly caster. In the early 1900's, according to Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing by Joseph D. Bates, Jr, "Herbie was inspired by a 6/0 Silver Doctor salmon fly brought to him from England . . . He began to apply multicolored feathers to reforged hooks in an effort to imitate a smelt. From his shop at Haines Landing at Lake Mooselookmeguntic, he created some of the most elaborate streamers of the era."

Mr. Welch is recorded as living in Oquossoc, Maine. The fly was named for Kennabago Stream, a famous trout and landlocked salmon water in the Rangeley section of the state of Maine.

Kennebago Streamer
as dressed by the originator

    Head: Black.

    Tail: A small bunch of orange hackle fibers.

    Butt: Made in three parts, which take up one-third of body. Rear quarter of butt is peacock herl, middle half is pale blue silk, and forward quarter is peacock herl.

    Body: Medium flat gold tinsel.

    Ribbing: Medium oval silver tinsel, over gold only.

    Throat: A small bunch of orange hackle fibers.

    Wing: Two dark red saddle hackles with a golden badger saddle hackle on each side.

    Cheeks: Jungle cock.


Credits: Dressing, fly photo and quoted text from Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing by Joseph D. Bates, Jr, published by Stackpole Books.

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