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?


As tied by Ray Bergman

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

This fancy fly of broad scarlet ibis wings, with guinea fowl scopulas, was designed by, and named after, George Shepard Page, of the Oquossoc Angling Association of Rangeley, Maine, which he organized in 1867 and of which he was president for ten years. It was first tied to Mr. Page's order by Michael, of Andrew Clerke & Company, about 1860 for use in Rangely waters. It had a yellow body, red ibis wings and a shoulder bar of wood duck on each side of the ibis.

Mr. Page, born in Kennebec County, Maine, in 1838, moved to Chelsea, a suburb of Boston, the same year, and became a resident of New York City in 1862.

He first went to Rangeley at the invitation of his cousin, Henry O. Stanley, State Fish Commissioner.

A twelve pound trout caught by him in 1867, largest on record for years, was exhibited at the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia.

He took brook trout eggs to England and France in 1869. They were the first American trout eggs to cross the ocean.

Mr. Shepard Page was one of the men who organized the American Fish Culture Association in 1870, and he served as its president in 1882-3.

Mr. Page was the American Guest of Honor at the 2nd English Casting Tournament, held at Welch Harp Fishery, Hendon, in July, 1882.

The fly shown is a tie by Ray Bergman, the recipe follows:

    Tag: Gold tinsel.

    Tail: Scarlet.

    Body: Crimson or scarlet floss.

    Rib: Gold tinsel.

    Hackle: Scarlet.

    Wing: Guinea with scarlet stripes.

Credits: Text from Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedly, color photos from Forgotten Flies published by the Complete Sportsman.

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