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?


Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

"While of English origin, the Francis fly is typically American.

Francis Francis was born in Devonshire, that delightful trout country in Southwest England, in 1822. He was the author of The Anglers Register and Diary that went through three publications, 1858-60-61; and Fish Culture, 1863. His most popular writing was A Book on Angling, 1867, which went through five editions before his death. He served as angling editor of The Field from 1856 to 1883. It was he who suggested the plan of the National Fish Culture Association, which was carried out after his death in 1886.

The writing of this author-creator are widely read and approved in the United States. It was Francis who wrote, "No one man, no matter how skillful he may be, will ever know all that there is in fly fishing, for wherever he goes he find new and interesting problems to tackle."

The fly may be described as: body, dark green bronze peacock herl, with a spiral stripping of red; gold tip; gray hackle top and well as under the head and forward of a large, wide, dark gray wing; tail dark gray.

Call McCarthy...once said that when he was serving his apprenticeship to his father in fly tying, A Book on Angling always lay upon the work take and was used as a text book to resolve any knotty question."

Credits: Text from Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedley, Published by Westshore Publications. Fly photo from Forgotten Flies. We appreciate use permission.

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