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-four

A Second Look

Black Hills Brown

By Old Rupe

Old Rupe got an education in South Dakota in the fine art of pocket water fishing. Where wild trout hold and how to fish them with Al Campbell's murderous fly which most real old timers would recognize as a fly in the style of Franz Pott's Sandy Mite. This fly is not a copy but an easier to tie multipurpose fly that can be fished damp or wet and due to its construction can be tied in smaller sizes than the Potts flies. Franz's flies were mostly 8-10's and only wet flies, where Al's flies were 14's and mostly 16's that were in most cases fished damp as an emerging fly. I guess I never saw a 14 come to think of it.

It was not only the fly and the water and how to recognize good spots but how to fish in between those obvious spots, covering them efficiently without wasting valuable time. Slow down on the good spots and fish fast through marginal water.

Due to my rather poor health I tended to fish too slow covering poor water too intensely. I was taking my time and fishing every possible holding lie several times from every possible position. This was not the way to do it there. On my home water there are limited small pockets of good fishing. In South Dakota the smart thing is move fast and hunt only the most productive water. I think track shoes would be an asset. This is the "first look." Where trout will hold and how to fish them. Now as Paul Harvey says, " here is the rest of the story."

Every good guide can show you the "first look" if he so desires and that is worth the price of the trip. I was fortunate to be shown the "second look." Few guides are really keyed in on it. Especially young guides.

I got from Al Campbell an insight into where other fishers would and would not fish. How others would approach a stream and which trout would be untouched. I never looked at it through Al's eyes. A "second look" at trout which could be mine alone if I was smart enough to fish these forgotten trout. What a revelation! I showed my wife Nelly and she really keyed in on that act. Her comments still haunt me. "There just has to be a trout there, others wouldn't fish this spot hard." I saw her fish a spot for 5 minutes and finally produce a fish. She said," I just knew a trout had to be there." Thanks Al. Few have the insight to fish the "second look" let alone teach it. They may barr you and your act as a conservation measure.

Al's Shwapf

If you see a picture of Al and his fly on a trout stream on a poster saying this act is prohibited-tear it down and fish the damn thing. I can't spell his fly but I sure can tie and fish it.

Tie and fish a class act and all will go well. If in doubt ask Al. ~ Old Rupe

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