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-eight

Jenny Spinner

Jenny Spinner

Compiled by Deanna Lee Birkholm

Quoting from Favorite Flies and Their Histories by Mary Orvis Marbury, "The Jenny Spinner is the imago of the Iron Blue, and in this, it's final state, is one of the most delicate flies in form and color on the angler's list. The imitations of it vary somewhat, and each maker confesses his failure to reproduce the insect to his entire satisfaction. Although familiarly called the Jenny Spinner, it is one of the drakes of the order Ephemeroptera. Theakston very properly calls it the Pearl Drake, the wings, portions of the body, legs, and styles all being of a pearly tinge and nearly transparent. The head and end joints of the body are brown; therefore Ronalds and Theakston make the fly with a middle band of white, terminated at either end by brown. There is so much difficulty in representing the extreme delicacy of the wings, that fly-makers have generally abondoned the attempt, and give it a gauze-like effect by making it "buzz," using for the purpose some tiny light gray feather, that of the sea swallow being an excellent tint. For the bodies some makers use horsehair in place of silk. . ."

Jenny Spinner
As dressed by Mary Orvis Marbury

    Body:  Stripped dun quill.

    Hackle:  Dun hackle.

Credits: Quoted text small inset photo and dressing from Favorite Flies and Their Histories, published by Lyons Press. Large fly photo from Forgotten Flies, published by Complete Sportsman.

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