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?

Goofus Bug

Compiled By James Birkholm


The best genesis in print of this fly is in the American Angler (Spring, 1990). In his article "Goofus Bug Evolution," Pat Barnes credits this pattern to Keith Kenyon. Kenyon, a Montana guide and tier, secretly created it in 1944 for the Firehole River. Its effectiveness leaked out and requests for that "goofy deer hair fly" bombarded Pat and Sig in their West Yellowstone shop. Thus the name "Goofus Bug" was adopted. The name "Humpy" applies to this pattern coming from Wyoming sources.

Goofus Bug

Originator: Keith Kenyon, 1940s

Hook: Mustad 94840, or equivalanet, size 4 - 14.

Thread: Yellow 6/0.

Tail: Deer body hair.

Body: Shellback of deer body hair over yellow tying thread belly.

Wing: Upright and divided tips of hair used to form shellback.

Hackle: Blue Dun.

~ JC

Credits: Quoted portions and photo from Trout Country Flies, From Greater Yellowstone Area Masters by Bruce Staples and published by Frank Amato Publications.

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