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

Using this streamer pattern for salmon, tied with white feather wings, jungle cock shoulders and a silver body, dating about 1928, was an idea of Gardner Percy, of Portland, Maine.

It was name after L. Dana Chapman, of Boston, Massachusetts, who, from 1934-1941 had a tackle shop at 8 High Street. He gave Mr. Percy the first order for that pattern.

The pattern was originally known as the Bonbright, after the late George D. Bonbright, a well known New York fisherman who used it in larger sizes for tarpon in Florida. Mr. Bonbright designed a salt-water fly rod for tarpon.

Mr. Chapman, born in 1858, served his tackle apprenticeship, as a boy, under Lorenzo Prouty and was at one time employed, as was Prouty, at Bradford & Anthony.

Dana won the gold medal for accuracy fly casting at the 1908 Boston Sport Show.

Bonbright Streamer

    Tail: Red and white duck wing, and golden pheasant crest.

    Body: Flat silver tinsel.

    Rib: Fine oval silver tinsel.

    Throat: White hackle fibers.

    Wing: Four white neck hackle.

    Horns: Blue macaw tail feather.

    Shoulder: Golden pleasant crest, followed by a red duck breast.

    Cheeks: Jungle cock.

    Tied by Don Bastian.

Publisher's Note: The photo shown above is labeled as the Bonbright in Forgotten Flies. A photo of a 'Dana' is shown, but it not the fly described above.

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

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