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 . .

Part Thirty-two

A Great Vacation

By Old Rupe
Photos by Ken Wooten

This year I timed my vacation to coincide with the annual FAOL "fish in." This was the smartest thing I've done since I first voted Republican. I announced that I was going to South Dakotas Black Hills and if anyone wanted to go they should be ready the next day. They all were, so we piled into my truck and went. Al Campbell had made arrangements with the Crooked Creek Camp Ground in Hill City and that was a smart choice. The couple that lived in the little Scamp Trailer and worked there made the trip. Always pleasant and helpful.

Was this another one of those fishing trips where the family sits at the cabin and Dad fishes? Not here it wasn't. What did the family see? It would be hard to list everything. We saw:

  • 1. The Bad Lands.

  • 2. Custer State Park and the buffaloes and deer.

    Mountain Goat

  • 3. Mount Rushmore.

    Mount Rushmore

  • 4. Jewel Cave.

  • 5. Devils Tower.

    Needles Highway

  • 6. Needles Highway.

  • 7. The Reptile Gardens---Really a nice thing.

  • 8. Took the 1890's Hill City train ride.

  • 9. Spent quite a bit of time just driving in the national forest.

  • 10. The Corn Palace at Mitchell S.D..

  • 11. Crazy Horse Memorial.

  • 12. Visited several small ranches --- a different look at life in the Black Hills.

  • 13. The hail storm - the ground hogs - the prairie dogs - long walks in the evening.

  • 14. My wife taking her first trout on a fly in quite a while and her putting "better fishers" to shame with a short line wet fly.

  • 15. Our serious adventure into pottery collecting- I cried.

    Me, wife Nelly on my right
 and our Honduran family at the Alpine Inn

  • 16. The fine bottle of wine the Gatti Rod Company bought us at the Alpine Inn. I didn't feel bad since I own 6 of their rods. Gosh were the guys impressed with the rods when I loaned them one of mine for the day. A class act in the rod making thing.

  • 17. A chance to meet Keith Wintersteen - an Assistant Hatchery Manager that took his personal time to discuss local trout fishing with us. The next day I met him on the stream fishing wild trout with a fly rod. An accidental meeting. With people like him S.D. trout fishing is secure. I would hate to fish behind him. Imagine hatchery personnel that fly fish wild trout on their day off. All is well in S.D.

  • 18. Who could miss State Senator Drue Vitter - He spent at least hour with me - discussing what we should see in his state ---what an advocate--- the rest of the group was impressed. Here I don't even know my Senators name. There I can't even vacation without running into him. Every state should be so lucky to have an advocate like that. Drue you were right my family had a great time and your state is under-utilized. I will be back.

  • 19. Al Campbell - the fly fishing manager at Scheels Sporting Goods in Rapid City - showed me how to tie Potts flies and how to fish pocket water. I showed my wife Nelly. She can now catch 5-7 wild fish an hour with a wet fly. Thanks Al - They should make you a state trout fishing advocate. You are right - South Dakota is a family trout fishing state. Watching my wife catch her first fly caught South Dakota trout was worth the trip. Scheels and Al are the obvious South Dakota trout fishing class act. No high dollar sell - just good advice if you want it. Those that are fortunate enough to spend a day on the stream with Al will never forget it. Integrity, knowledge and good Christian values are hard to beat.

    The chance to meet Brad and Ken and the rest of the group rounded out a near perfect trip - rain was the only killer - but even then I caught all the fish I wanted.

    Tuesday and Wednesday I am guiding the Senator from Honduras on the Mad river - After hearing of the good things his wife observed with us on the trip he decided to try it. Too bad Al couldn't show him the act. I will try to fill in. I'm trying to talk him into introducing brown trout into Honduras.

    Isn't trout fishing great? ~ Old Rupe

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