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?

Jacques P. Herter Famous Balloon Streamer

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

In fly casting if the streamer becomes at all heavy, it is very difficult to cast. You cannot, for example, put a pork rind on a streamer fly etc. as it would be too heavy for good casting. Jacques P. Herter invented the balloon streamer. This streamer has tremendous action but is light weight and very easy to cast.

Here is how to make it. Buy orange and red rubber toy balloons. Cut two thin strips of the orange balloon tie these on for the tail. Put a long strip of the orange balloon onto the hook.

    Body: Make of orange floss with narrow flat silver tinsel.

    Wing: Make of white rooster hackle feathers.

    Throat: For the throat tie in three red rubber balloon strips.

The first time Jacques used this fly, he took and released twenty three brook trout, none less than a pound and a half, in one morning. When I saw that happen I became a regular user of his balloon fly.

A thin strip of a rubber balloon is excellent hooked onto the hook of any streamer. This is a great fishing trick and I have taken some real lunker fish using it. ~ George Leonard Herter (1961)

Credits: from Fly Tying, Spinning and Tackle Making by George Leonard Herter.

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