Welcome to Just Old Flies

Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of 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.

Most books, and yes, even we here, bring 'new and improved' designs; however, in days long gone, fish readily accepted these creations; 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. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish them. Perhaps . . .

Part Six


By "old rupe"

Green Monster

Years ago, while I was first exploring fly-tying I frequented a shop that had an unusual collection of flies. The flies were more a reflection of the owners taste than of what would work or sell in the area. He had foreign flies from places geography majors would have difficulty finding. They were always done nice. He had flies from England, Sawyers pt nymphs done by the family, South African flies before it was chic to stock foreign flies, each fly a little different from what you would find in a catalog or shop.

After I got paid each week I would spend 30 to 40 minutes looking at the flies and then buy something to sort of "pay my way". Usually it was hooks, feathers or tinsel. The real thrust of the visit was to look at the flies. I just hated to buy a fly as I thought with a little practice and the right materials I could do it too.

He had English hooks that I would today pay $40.00 a box for, and a gruff personality that would alienate a goat. Those unusual flies were what kept me coming back.

I finally found a fly that over the weeks and months I couldn't guess how it was done. An admission that there was a tier or tiers that was better than me. A person from one of those third world countries that I couldn't even copy. These tiers were supposed to be copiers not me. So I finally gave in an bought the fly, It was the last one he had.

Green Monster, Top

I put it on my bench and over the course of 25 years looked at it 3-4 days a week. A modern day Ahab. Never understanding how it was done. Never giving up on the possibility that I might on a good day "catch the act."

Today it's still here. I still haven't caught the act. I still look at it about an hour a week and despise the third world tier that did what I couldn't do and that gruff old b-------- that imported it.

I now understand why people burn down fly shops.~"Old Rupe"

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