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 Fourty

The Fly Tying Lesson

By Old Rupe


Sometimes a person comes across a tale that's too good to avoid the telling. It's a story dated several years ago and told as the truth, but only those involved really know.

There was this bass fisherman who also tied flies and fished trout. If anything he was a regarded as somewhat strange for making lures out of fur and feathers by his bass buddies. The rules prohibited fly rods so why learn to use one if it couldn't be put to tournament use. The tier was just good enough to always place in the top ten but never had that little bit of luck, insight or skill to place higher than third out of a hundred boats.

Those top ten finishers always comprised the same people, who knew each others methods and faults and scouted each other like the NFL would scout an opposing team. All were friends though competitors and a definite pecking order was established. Dale who had 'won state' two years in a row was definitely at the top.

Boy was the tier surprised when Dale asked to see his flies and asked about nice ties, woven things and different salt water flies, that would not be available commercially. I seems that Dale knew this country western singer that he met at a bass tournament who really fly fished and he wondered if the tier would tie a special jig and some flats flies that were not generally available.

This went on for about six months or so. The tier would tie a dozen or so of something no one else was tying. These were specialty jigs and flats flies and trout flies of the Montana persuasion. Finally the tier asks who this singer was. This had blossomed into a three-dozen-flies a month chore. It turned out the singer was Jimmy Buffett a story telling singer from Florida.

Dale said, "Jimmy will be up in a month doing a concert and why don't you come over and meet him?"

The tier said, "ok'", and went out and bought a couple of old Jimmy's discs just so he wouldn't be ignorant when they met. Jimmy turned out to be a really nice guy thanking the tier for his stuff and kind of making over him for tying stuff that just was not available elsewhere.

He said, "You know I really should put you in one of my songs."

The tier replied, "Jimmy I'm glad to see you learned to tie your own flies."

Jimmy just sat there for a half a minute or so then replied, " I would really appreciate it if you could tie me a few more of those jigs with deer hair. I guess I'll never learn to tie."

After six months or so no more requests for flies were received. Either Jimmy learned to tie his own flies or a new supplier was found. Dale said he had become somewhat of a tier.

I guess tying lessons are an individual thing. ~ Old Rupe

PS: I guess there are more Buffett stories than Elvis sightings, most probably untrue or exaggerated. I can appreciate the tier not wanting to be a part of a Buffet song. Maybe being a part of one of old rupes tales is about as bad. The only difference is that I tie my own stuff. What you see is what you get.

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