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?


Dolly Varden

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm


Here is an odd piece of history. Can you think of any current flies named for either a character in a book (or movie) - or how about naming a fish for the same reason?

Quoting from Fly Patterns and Their Origins, "This fly and the charr trout, Salvelinus (malma) parkei, got their names for the same reason.

The markings of both fish and fly were said to resemble the coloring of the dress, in vogue in 1863, of the coquette Dolly Varden of Dicken's novel Barnaby Rudge.

The fish was named first. The fly is of more recent date.

The Dolly Varden has a white floss body; gold rib; brown hackle; and cinnamon wings and tail." ~ DLB

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

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