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?


Weedless Fly


Compiled by Deanna Birkholm


I've always been curious as to where/how things are invented. Here is how the Weedless Fly came about.

"The first weedless fly is credited to Willard A. Schaeffer, of Rock Island, Illinois. Necessity, always the mother of invention, resulted in the designing of the weedless fly to be used particularly in fishing for bass in the sloughs and bayous of the Illinois River and among the many obstructions that territory possessed, and particularly for skittering the fly over the top of moss.

The tying of the fly was the feature. Just ahead of the body of the fly and around the shank of the hook a number of coarse horse hairs were so arranged that they projected over the barb of of hook. This horse hair acted as a weed guard.

In 1912, Mr. Schaeffer was secretary-treasurer of the Illinois Rod and Gun Club near Astoria, which club house and preserve were asserted to be the finest in the State."

Credits: Text from Fly Patterns and Their Origins, By Harold Hinsdill Smedley.

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