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?

Campbell's Fancy

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

According to Fly Patterns and Their Origins, "Charles Campbell, of Wall Street, New York, a life-long member of the Beaverkill Trout Club, is the person from whom this fly got its name.

Mr. Campbell was an old friend and customer of Reub Cross, who describes Mr. Campbell's pattern as wings of teal, body gold tinsel, with buff tail and hackle.

The Campbell's Fancy is rated high on the Beaverkill for about two weeks around the first of May, and curiously enough, nothing else will take its place.

Sparse Gray Hackle says, "The old superstition that a Wickham's Fancy, slate wings, gold body, brown hackle tied palmer, and a Campbell's Fancy are interchangable is hooey on the Beaverkill."

Incidentally, Campbell's Fancy is a rattling good rainbow fly at any time."

Please note, this dressing does not match the dressing given above. The dressing given in Forgotten Flies is:

    Tail: Three short golden pheasant crests curving upward.

    Body: Flat silver tinsel.

    Throat: Three short golden pheasant crest feathers curving downward.

    Wing: Bronze mallard flank feather.

    Tied by Don Bastian

    Source: Trolling Flies for Trout and Salmon, page 96 (1982).

Credits: Text from Fly Patterns and Their Origins, By Harold Hinsdill Smedley. Color photo and second recipe from Forgotten Flies published by Complete Sportsman.

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