There is enough information out there to stagger
the mind, and fill volumes of books
if you know where to find it!
No, I'm not talking about sitting down in front of your
computer to look a certain topic up. What I am describing
may be the most untapped resource we have. The older generation!
Now before anyone takes offense, I will clarify that I am a
43-year-old "geezer" myself. What I'm referring to, are those
around us who lived through the depression. You know the ones,
"save that string, newspaper, rubber band, piece of wire, and all
those grocery bags . . . you might need them some day!"
Most of those who were around during those hard times will
tell you that .22 ammo brought a lot of food to the table
as "mystery meat" dishes. Worms, night crawlers by flashlight,
grubs, hickory nut worms, golden rod grubs, and crickets
were the fishing bait of choice. (After the fun of gathering
them of course.)
My family still eats an occasional rabbit, and squirrel,
and we keep and eat bluegill that are six to seven inches
and put the bigger ones back. Panfish flies/fishing
techniques and all sorts of strange animal recipes have
been handed down.
One day after I was discussing handed down fly patterns with
an old friend. Then there was a massive search of an attic that
led to old fly boxes with information tags on flies I have
used for years but didn't know the origins of.
There were some flies we always called bluegill "fall" flies,
and the only info I can find on them is that Peter Schwab,
the fishing author, spent twenty years testing and designing
streamer patterns through the U.S. and here are five of them,
(represented in actual flies) and two patterns.
The flies here were tied by just using shaking fingers,
trifocals, and a bobbin, by an aged gentleman who's memory
sadly fades in and out more and more every day. He's a
fellow that I used to work with, Glen Kriss. He is 82
and has Alzheimers pretty bad.
He has no family, and asked me to copy some of his special
flies from his attic, (his entire collection of old flyboxes)
so I could take him out pond fishing for bluegills
when he is aware enough. For my trouble, he is showing
me how to tie all the flies he still remembers. (I ran
the scissors when and where I was directed while he tied them.)
If you get a chance to get together with anyone with more
knowledge than you, it is always the best way to learn
anything! (Be it a family member, co-worker, or even
a neighbor who has the same interests.)
Not everyone has the ability to be a GOOD teacher, but by
asking all the questions that come to mind, you can develop
your own "style." Later, with practice it comes easier with
your own way, with the same goal. But you have to get all
this valued information passed down to you, before the
person with the knowledge sadly passes on!
These flies are not the by any means the original patterns!
(I don't even know what species they are for.) They are
handed down adaptations for "panfish" using size #12 thin
Tail: Red squirrel tail.
Body: Silver solder (wire, or lead substitute).
Underwing: Yellow bucktail.
Overwing: Red squirrel tail.