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?
By Alec Stansell, Cape Cod, MA
Archive of Old Flies
Smedley in his Fly Patterns and Their Origins
tells us that The Marston (or Marston's Fancy) was the
creation of Robert B. Marston, editor of The Fishing
Gazette, of London England. He founded the Magazine
in 1877 and also edited the 105th edition of Walton's
Angler. Mary Orvis Marbury however relates that the
Marston Bass Fly was designed by C.F. Orvis, and named by
his Friend A.N. Cheney after Marston, in appreciation of
his efforts to introduce the black bass to England, in
waters suited to them. (Rest easy - no threat to the trout
and salmon there!)
In any case, it is a beautiful fly, and with a bit of ingenuity,
the loon called for in the wing can easily be substituted
with a painted black goose cussette.
Hook: Mustad 80300BR sz. 10 (as pictured here)
or Mustad 3366 size 2.
Tail: White tipped mallard.
Butt: White Chenille, fore and aft.
Body: Oval silver tinsel.
Wing: Imitation loon over approx. 2/3rds white goose cussettes.
Hackle: Brown. ~ Alec Stansell
Alec Stansell lives and fishes on Cape Cod Massachusetts.
In the 1990's he owned and operated Port City Fly and
Tackle in Portland Maine. He is a founding member of The
Samuel Tisdale Society, a club of Northeastern warmwater
fly anglers that meet several times a year to enjoy fishing
and food. He is currently writing a book entitled Tying
and Fishing the Classic American Bass Fly. You can
reach him at
email@example.com ~ EA
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