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
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
Archive of Old Flies
"This pattern originated when Dan Bailey crossed
his Muddler Minnow with Theodore Gordon's Bumble
Puppy. Bailey called it the White Muddler. Real
fame began after Vince Hamlin, Alley Oop comic
strip creator, used it with great success on
Montana streams. In 1956, Hamlin drew it into
one of his cartoons as the "Missoulian Spook"
hanging from the mouth of a leaping trout.
Joe Brooks touted it to great popularity using
Vince and his wife, Dorothy, were our neighbors
at Pine Creek outside Livingston, Montana. They
had a one-story log cabin where they spent their
summers. Winter was spent in Florida,
Sarasota/Bradenton area if my memory is correct.
Vince was 'born' a trout fisherman, in fact his
middle name was Trout! When we met them in 1972,
Vince had just sold his comic strip to a young man
who had been working with him for some time, Dave
Graue. Vince was still involved with the on-going
story line and was quite concerned at how his
successor would carry it on.
Orginator: Dan Bailey, 1940s.
Hook: Mustad 9672, or equivalent, size 4-12.
Thread: Grey 2/0.
Tail: White turkey quill segments.
Butt: Red chenille.
Rib: Flat silver tinsel.
Body: White floss.
Underwing: White calf tail.
Wing: White turkey quill segments.
Sides: Thin teal flank strip.
Head and collar: Spun deer hair clipped to shape.
Vince had a real interest in dinosaurs and it is
thought Alley Oop came from that foundation. The
cartoon strip was very popular, and in World War II
'Alley' even appeared on the nose of many fighter
planes and on at least one military patch! Alley
Oop still lives on, you can see more
One of Vince's favorite fishing places was right
below the Pine Creek bridge on the Yellowstone,
a short walk from his cabin. He and Dan Bailey
remained friends and fishing buddies for many years.
Vince died in 1993.
Credits: Photo, recipe and quoted text from Trout Country
Flies, by Bruce Staples, Published by Frank
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