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?


The Marston

By Alec Stansell, Cape Cod, MA


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.

The Marston

    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

    About Alec:

    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 alec@favoriteflies.com ~ EA

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