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 today's 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 Jock Scott Wet Fly

The Jock Scott Wet Fly
By Eric Austin, Ohio

I had the best of intentions. My plan was to do an article today that incorporated the Jock Scott wet fly and full dress salmon fly, similar to the one I did recently on the Silver Doctor. However, after working diligently on the full dress fly each night this week I've decided I just don't like it. These things happen, it just didn't pan out. So we'll have to make do with just the wet fly for now. I've had some interest in how these flies go together, so I'm thinking of showing a step-by-step pictorial of the creation of a Jock Scott next week. The full dress fly incorporates most of the techniques you'll run across with these, and if you can do a Jock Scott, you'll be able to tackle most others.

The fly above is taken from Ray Bergman's Trout, and is I think a fairly good representation of the big fly. The two tone body has been replicated, and even the Indian Crow feather in the tail is suggested. The Jock Scott is considered to be the King of the salmon flies, and over time versions of every sort have been done, from streamers to bucktails to wet flies. Like the Silver Doctor, it made the trip across the pond very successfully, and has been a mainstay for salmon in Canada and elsewhere. In the book Fly Patterns of British Columbia it is mentioned on several pages, and even places second to Bill Nation's fly, the Nation Special, in Kamloops trout caught on Paul Lake. This is remarkable, considering the Jock Scott was designed for salmon on the Tweed in the British Isles, and Bill Nation's fly was created by the famous guide from Paul Lake, specifically for Paul Lake trout.

There is considerable history around the original salmon fly, and not a whole lot where the wet fly is concerned. That said, it must have enjoyed some popularity, as J. Edson Leonard lists six versions of it in Flies. Here they are, with Bergman's version as well:

Jock Scott Wet Fly (Bergman)

    Wing: Peacock sword; Blue, yellow, scarlet, white tipped turkey-Married; Jungle cock eye

    Hackle: Guinea fowl, black and white

    Body: Black floss at head, yellow floss at tail, silver tinsel rib

    Tail: Gold pheasant crest and scarlet tuff

Jock Scot (sic) Wet Fly No. 1 (Leonard)

    Wing: Mallard; blue, scarlet, peacock strips, jungle cock eye

    Hackle: Guinea

    Body: Black floss 1/2 fore, yellow floss 1/2 aft, gold rib

    Tail: Gold pheasant tippet and crest

Jock Scot (sic) Wet Fly No. 2 (Leonard)

    Wing: Yellow and gray turkey; mallard and scarlet strips, jungle cock eye

    Hackle: Guinea

    Body: Yellow floss, white floss rib, black tip

    Tail: Yellow and Scarlet fibers

Jock Scot (sic) Wet Fly No. 3 (Leonard)

    Wing: Mallard, gold pheasant crest top; blue, scarlet and jungle cock eye strips

    Hackle: Guinea

    Body: Silver, black chenille butt

    Tail: Gold pheasant crest

Jock Scot (sic) Wet Fly No. 4 (Leonard)

    Wing; Gray turkey, scarlet and yellow strips

    Hackle: Guinea

    Body: Yellow floss, gold rib

    Tail:Gold pheasant crest

Jock Scot(sic) Wet Fly No. 5 (Leonard)

    Wing: Brown turkey, peacock sword top; red, yellow, blue, orange, mallard strips

    Hackle: Guinea

    Body: Black floss 1/2 fore, 1/2 yellow floss aft

    Tail: scarlet hackle

Jock Scot (sic) Montana (Leonard)

    Wing: Brown turkey, red and yellow strips

    Hackle: guinea

    Body: Black floss fore, yellow floss aft, gold rib

    Tail: Scarlet hackle

Credits: Flies by J. Edson Loenard; Trout by Ray Bergman; Fly Patterns of British Columbia by Arthur James Lingren; ~ EA

About Eric:

Eric Eric lives in Delaware, Ohio and fishes for brown trout in the Mad River, a beautiful spring creek. More of his flies are on display here: Traditionalflies.com -- Classic salmon and trout flies of Europe and the Americas.

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