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 . .
The Fly Tying Lesson
By Old Rupe
Archive of Old Flies
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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