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?

Golden Pheasant

Compiled by Eric Austin
Fly tied by Eric Austin

From Favorite Flies and Their Histories:
In our quotation from Mr. Wells's book regarding his experiments with artificial flies viewed through the water in a glass tank is explained the peculiar power possessed by the feathers of the golden pheasant of reflecting the light, making them visible beyond all other materials used in fly-making. While airy and graceful, they are also of hard surface, and do not become matted, nor readily absorb the water. Mr. George Herne, of Hertfordshire, England, has made a specialty of breeding golden pheasants to furnish feathers for fly-making, and the feathers from his birds are far superior to those of any other that we know; the crest feathers deepening to the dark, beautiful orange, almost blood-red tips that so greatly enhance the perfection of the salmon flies; the markings on the neck feathers or frills are also deeper and more distinct. Different makers vary in their dressing of the bodies of the Golden Pheasant flies, but that shown seems to us to be in the best harmony, and is, we think, the best known, and most used for salmon, large trout, bass and sea trout.

Recipe Golden Pheasant:

    Tail: Sparse black hackle.

    Body: Vermillion floss.

    Rib: Fine oval gold tinsel.

    Wing: Golden pheasant tippet.

    Hackle: Three turns of vermillion hackle palmered on body, the rest as throat.

~ EA

Credits: Text from Favorite Flies and Their Histories by Mary Orvis Marbury. Fly and photo by Eric Austin.

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