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?

Jenny Lind

Compiled by Eric Austin
Fly tied by Eric Austin

The Jenny Lind was designed by Mrs. O'Connell of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the 1850s, and named for the famous soprano, Jenny Lind. This fly was tied on the heels of the Swedish Nightingale's triumphant tour of America, promoted by P.T. Barnum. Jenny Lind's operatic performances caused such a stir that streets, schools, dams, entire towns, and yes, a fishing fly, were named for her.

Here is the pattern for the Jenny Lind:

    Hook: Wet fly, #6-#14.

    Thread: Black.

    Tail: Lavender quill.

    Body: Light Yellow.

    Ribbing: Gold Tinsel.

    Hackle: Scarlet.

    Wing: Lavender quill with a married scarlet stripe.

Note: There are versions of this fly that use light blue quill in place of the lavender, and furnace hackle for the throat. I very much feel that the lavender and scarlet are much more appropriate for the "ruby throated" soprano. Ray Bergman has this fly as the "Jennie Lind," but spelling aside, this is his version shown here. ~ Eric Austin

Credits: Steel engraving of Jenny Lind by W.C. Wrankmore, courtesy of the New York Public Library

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