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-five

Cow Dung

Cow Dung

Compiled by Deanna Lee Birkholm

Quoting from Favorite Flies and Their Histories by Mary Orvis Marbury, published by The Lyons Press, "Tradition declares that this fly should be used on windy days, as the natural fly is found upon the water only when blown there by strong winds: but it has been proved that the fly is often successful at other times, and actual observation shows the wind theory unreliable.

The larvae of these flies feed upon the excrement of cattle, and the females may be seen hovering in its vicinity, as they lay their eggs near or upon it. The females are short-lived and do not wander, but it is stated that the male flies prey upon smaller insects, especially the tiny water-flies, which they hold with their anterior feet while they suck the blood of the bodies. In their greed they often venture too far, and fall into the water there they furnish a fat morsel for the waiting trout.

Their color is a brown similar to the tints of many of the caddis flies, - that favorite food of the trout and grayling, - so that they are likely to be successful in any streams where the Phryganidae are familiar food to the fish."

Cow Dung
As dressed by Ray Bergman

    Body:  Olive green wool.

    Hackle:  Brown.

    Wing:  Cinnamon (Orpington cock).

Credits: Information and small photo from Favorite Flies and Their Histories, by Mary Orvis Marbury, published by The Lyons Press. Large photo and recipe from Forgotten Flies, published by Complete Sportsman.

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