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-two

The Student

By Old Rupe


I met an interesting person on the trout stream last week. I was in the process of getting a drubbing from the senior Heenan (Tim), when a Korean gentleman appeared and asked how we were doing.

Tim said, "get your rod and join us," which he did.

I watched him cast and after a few throws I gave him a 18 ft. hand-tied leader I use on the river. With a little help he was running drag free floats as good as anyone. Then some Albolene floatant, a few size 16 parachutes and EHC's he was set.

We spent some time showing him how to cast slow rods, medium rods, and even a Gatti 3 piece 4 wt. He got the point right away. He really liked the Gatti.

He picked up the fact that a person had to adjust the casting stroke for each rod. No one had ever taken the time to teach him basic techniques. Some shop had sold him a decent rod and a set of real nice neoprenes but had failed to provide him with a decent leader and a fly selection that would enable him to be successful.

Tim proceeded to give him some nymphs and an indicator and put him on a nice section of river where he left him to fish solo after a few lessons and three browns for the student. It seems he was a doctoral candidate at Ohio State University in fish farming. No wonder we thought he was sharp. He was. Too bad they were not hitting on top, I would have liked to see him really see trout fishing with a dry.

I taught him the long leader and drag-free float small-fly act and Tim showed him the indicator and double pick (two nymphs one attached to the other at the hook bend with 12 inches of 5x). He was such a nice guy that just dealing with him left a nice taste in our mouths.

We were back fishing where we first met him, waiting on the evening hatch, when there he came, parking on the main highway where he shouldn't. We heard him explain to the sheriff that he was just stopping for a moment to thank the gentlemen for showing him how to fly fish, which he proceeded to do. I gave him the flyanglers online address and mine and Tim's e-mail and personal addresses.

Later on the way home Tim and I discussed why we had spent 2-3 hours of our time on a stranger we might never see again.

We decided when we felt in the future that helping a serious beginner was a waste of time we would give up fly fishing and buy power bait.

Don't invest in power bait. With students like K.J. out there fly fishing is secure. Anyone that drives five miles out of his way to thank someone for his time and effort is already a member of the fraternity.

Tim and I considered that day the best day we had on the stream in some time. If you see him here on the site treat him nice. His thoughtful thanks has already paid his dues and we could all learn from him.

The sport needs more gentlemen. ~ Old Rupe

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