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?


Carey Spider


By Bruce Staples


This pattern was named for Ms. Julia Carey, a fishing companion of Bob Carmichael. Bob's son Tom offers that Mrs. Carey was "one of the finest dry fly fishers to wade Jackson Hole waters." That's quite a tribute because at midcentury, female fly fishers were uncommon.

Proper hackle made this fly effective. According to Tom, Roy Connelly owned a hackle collection unapproached by any contemporary western fly tier. This included springy, long barbed hackles needed for proper spider pattern construction.

Carey Spider:

    Hook: Mustad 9556, or equivalent, size 8-12.

    Thread: Black 6/0.

    Body: Short, of fine gold tinsel

    Hackle: Sparse and six times oversized from honey dun or coch-y-bondhu hackle.

~ Bruce Staples

Credits: Trout Country Flies by Bruce Staples. Published by Frank Amato Publications.

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