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 Sixty

The Fly of the Millennium

By Old Rupe

Fly Anglers on Line has a contest going for the Fly of the Millennium. A winning fly should exhibit at least subtle differences from its predecessors in either form or function. I really doubt that any truly new flies will be presented as the last thousand years have shown us an amazing collection of winners.

I would have to vote for the soft hackle. This is the fly that has caught trout before we had bamboo rods. Any fly that has caught more fish, over the years, than could be put in the hold of a medium sized cargo ship deserves serious consideration.

Do you think it will suddenly fail in the next millennium? I hardly think so. The trout haven't changed. The Dame's trout are our trout, some of ours may be a little more selective, but essentially the same trout. If a soft hackle won't catch those "difficult" trout then the future fishers will just do with out. If the trout are that much sharper then a trout dinner is history. Fish sticks will be the order of the day. The increase in the trout population will be a well documented phenomena.

Sentient fishers will be afraid to wade in the same rivers with those hungry trout. Fear will prevail. Stream side first-aid stations will be the order of the day. Old fly fishers will be known by their peg legs. Fly fishing will become a serious adventure like climbing Mount Everest. Insurance companies will reap huge rewards catering to fly fishermen. Brown trout will replace automobile accidents as a leading source of national fatalities. When this comes to pass Fosters Lager will sell like hot cakes at every stream side establishment. Stockholders for Bud light should tremble. A sad travesty on the times. It will be known as the eon of tears.

Several years ago I cultivated a great source of feathers. There are thousands of old women with no social security or other means of support that raise birds in their apartments for the pet shop trade. These great people supplied me with soft hackles that were amazing. These feathers were not documented in the literature. Great things. Never look down on a molted feather. I had canary feathers that no one else had. My soft hackles took on a new dimension. They didn't catch any more fish but gosh they were pretty, and different.

Soft hackles are alive and well in this age, and will be well into the next millennium. The change may be in different rare feathers that more closely define the hatch, but I doubt it. When a partridge and orange fails to produce, then sell your fly rods. Be afraid to wade with those trout. Sometimes fear can be a sensible thing.

PS: I'm not submitting a fly as it wouldn't be right to take advantage of Bud Lite drinkers. If I do send one later it will be for exhibition only. A tasty fly for nasty times. Only fish it with a Fosters Lager. Please release some of what you catch and always buy a drink for your elders. ~ Old Rupe

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