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 and Eric Austin
Flies tied by Eric Austin
Archive of Old Flies
Dr. Henshall writes in his book entitled
More about Black Bass:
"Each angler will soon adopt a few
flies for his own fishing none of which I may
have mentioned, but he will nevertheless
continue to use them, and swear by them on
all occasions: and this is one of the glorious
privileges of the art of angling.
Dr. Henshall created the Polka in 1870, and it
has been most popular ever since its appearance.
As a father naturally thinks his own
children the best, smartest, and handsomest,
I may be pardoned for placing in my list, and
strongly recommending as general flies, my Polka,
Oriole, Oconomowoc, and Henshall, leaving to
others the praise or condemnation due them."
In his forward to a later addition of the book
Trout by Ray Bergman, Gary LaFontaine
has this to say about the light version of this fly:
"A few years ago I was fishing the Firehole River
in Yellowstone Park, and there was a group of very
sophisticated anglers with the latest equipment
and newest fly patterns trying to catch fish.
They weren't doing too well. I put on the Light
Polka, a wet fly with a white chenile body and
fancy guinea wing, and cast against the grass
bank. I mended the line, letting the fly drift
with the current. Bam! A brown trout hit it. I
knew the Light Polka would work. Brown trout
can't leave a white fly alone, I learned that
from reading Trout."
The Polka bass fly:
The Light Polka wet fly:
Credits: Text from Favorite Flies and
Their Histories by Mary Orvis Marbury and
Trout by Ray Bergman. Flies tied by Eric Austin.
Color photos by James Birkholm.
Hook: Standard wet fly.
Body: White chenille.
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