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 eighty-two



Compiled by Deanna Lee Birkholm

Archibald Mitchell, of Norwich, Connecticut, salmon fly tier and fisherman of reknown at the turn of the Century, was the originator of the salmon fly which bears his name.

Mr. Mitchell, 1844-1923, was born in Cupar, County Fifte, Scotland. While still a young man he came to the United States. He obtained employment in a dry goods store in Hartford, Connecticut. Shortly thereafter, with another young Scotchman he went to Norwich, Connecticut where they opened a store of their own. This was the forerunner of other stores located in Portland, Meaine; Syracuse, New York; Fort Wayne, Indiana and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Mr. Mitchell was one of the founders of the Runnymeade Lodge on the Restigouche River and he also had an interest in a stretch of water on the Upsalquitch River, both in New Brunswick, Canada.

Mitchell preferred this pattern tied on a double hook.

As tied by Mary Orvis Marbury

    Tag:  Silver tinsel and yellow floss.

    Tail:  Golden pheasant crest, long and blue feather.

    Body:  Black floss.

    Rib:  Silver tinsel.

    Hackle:  Yellow, Black font.

    Wing:  Black metallic cock tail.

    Shoulder:  Jungle cock.

    Topping:  Golden pheasant crest.

Credits: Information from Fly Patterns and Their Origins, by Harold Hinsdill Smedley, photo and recipe from Forgotten Flies.

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