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-one

Hidden Folk

By Old Rupe


Of hidden folk, my mother spoke
I never quite believed
This failure oft I later thought
The reason why I grieved
Why little things were never right
I finally did believe
Each night in fright a gift I might
Never fail to leave
T Foster

Tonight I heard a program on Public Radio about hidden folk in Iceland. They were talking about the elves and other assorted creatures of myth and were estimating a population of thousands there and more elsewhere.

Now I know. Those small mysteries that have always intrigued me are finally crystal clear. These folk really exist. Just look around.

RK never tied those minute flies he fishes in the fall. The perfect umbrella shape of his soft hackles were never tied with those big clumsy hands. When I ask him how it was done he said, "A little elf told me."

Told me! Told me? I hardly think so. These little people have been known to be tipplers for centuries. I think he just leaves a bottle or two of that nice red wine he favors by his tying bench and in the morning when he wakes up he just scrapes those flies into his fly box. Another hard night at the bench. Just dispose of the empties and don't step on an elf. Never try to substitute milk. I also noticed a funny looking spot in his back yard that he never manicured. An elf spot? Anyone that has all the small flies he needs must be "elf blessed." I suspect small hand involvement here.

Al C's fine micro spaced stitching on his Pott's flies were never done by human hands. No wonder I can't match him. He didn't quit drinking because of medication conflicts. The truth is with real elf utilization one can't afford good drink. I hear they can have a real appetite.

Sorry is the man who shorts the wee ones their reward. I have heard stories of 15 to 20 flies mysteriously tied together found in the morning. It appeared 16/0 thread was used. When one fly was cut loose from the bunch they all came apart.

Ron K the bamboo man is another case in point. When I look at the end of his rods, where the fine planing is most evident, there is the sniff of elf. I suspect that he along with Gillum and Payne bought them good single malt scotch. From the looks of some of the younger makers rods, generic beer was served. There's nothing worse than an elf with "bitter beer face." Never slight your elf.

I've watched James and Deanna cast and it's amazing, and then I wondered. I beat her in a casting event with a strange rod, and James didn't look real great when he worked my old glass 4 wt. I suspect they are used to using "blessed" rods. It's a good thing that those elves like absolute and orange juice.

The other morning my wife complained about finding two opened beers on the table near the bench. When I told her they were offerings to the elves she took away my car keys.

It's a long walk to the mini market and Sal doesn't deliver. It's embarrassing to borrow the neighbor kid's wagon every night but I expect my cardiologist will be proud of me. One does what he has to. ~ Old Rupe

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