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 Two hundred-seventeen


Compiled By James Birkholm

"In 1873 Mr. Mullaly, of the New York Board of Health and former editor of the "Metropolitan Record," was granted a patent for an improvement in angling flies.

The design was to produce a more deceptive device by the construction of the hook. Instead of, as customarily, making the hook a prolongation of the body of the fly and bending downward, the hook was turned up and concealed in the wings, which form a sort of float.

The idea was in the turned up bend and not pattern, for the fly could be thus tied in many patterns.

The patent granted May 20, 1873, is No. 139,180 and the first on fishing flies.

The Beaverkill was Mr. Mullaly's favorite trout stream.

In view of the ever recurring discussion of who made the first dryfly in America it is interesting to note that the specifications forming part of the letters patent were written about twenty-five years before dryflies were "introduced" in America. It was written, that "the wings form a sort of float *** so that the fly retains its natural position on the water."

The drawing accompanying the patent claim give the impression of a house fly.

Quoted section and drawing from Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedley, published by Westshore Publications. ~ JB

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