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-eight

Private Space

By Old Rupe


I went to the lake with my old highschool buddy last week. Jerry is not a committed fisherman but really likes on occasion to catch a nice fish or two. We have both been out of highschool over forty years and on a good day most of our parts work best after we get up and around which is about 10 am.

I used to get up at 6 am and fire up the boat and fish a 16 hour day, while he would back pack the "trail" for twelve hours a day and sleep in a nasty tent. We would both get up and do it again. So much for youth. Now if I fish the boat for four hours and he walks or hikes a four hour trip we are at the limit of our endurance.

I have a couple of ratty trailers and a boat that sleeps four, if you really know each other, while he has a cabin out of town that has no telephone and if you don't know how to find it would elude the FBI on a good day.

Each of us has our private space. No phone, no television, no people dropping in, isolated except for those other old fossils who drop by on occasion just to see if we are alive.

My wife probably couldn't find my place at the lake and his wife knows better than to try to visit the cabin. A private space that insulates each of us from the terrors of the world.

Without that private space neither of us would have survived. I tie flies and gaze into my coal oil lamp while he does his equally obscure and useless wood fire and contemplative thing. Two old fools hanging on against the odds.

This is a two to four hour fix most days for him, while for me it's a three day thing every two weeks.

There is no place in the world I would rather sit than in the back of my boat even if its at the dock.

Newsoms Special Powder

Jerry's chair at his cabins fire ring is well used. No Prozac for us. More beer than we should drink, more ribs than we should eat (with old Lucious Newsoms special powder) cooked over a mesquite fire and plenty of time in the evening to read or just gaze into the fire. I sit on my boat and fish at the dock and in Lake Erie while he walks his woods and sits for hours at a time just watching nature. We decided over a beer one evening that life is good, we have been blessed. We each individually do what we want to do. If we won the lottery we would do the same things, maybe with a little more flair and class but essentially the same act.

If I could bottle private space it would have to go for two or three thousand a six pack.

There is a song in the 40's "A Cabin For Sale." We both agreed that as long as we were both alive, his cabin and forest and my trailers and boat would never reach the auction block.

Why is it that I just never can find time to read Thoreau and old Omar Khayyam at home, but at the lake I seem to find nothing but time to read in my boat at the dock or at my trailer in the evening?

I remember Thoreau's quote:

"A man needs only to be turned around once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost."

Remove my private space and I will be lost, so would most of us. Guard your sanity well. Never sell your way home. ~ Old Rupe

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