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 Seventy-two


By Old Rupe

There was Donna whom I loved so much
and Ruthie that I couldn't trust
and Marion and her naive way
and Alice with her head of clay

I couldn't save to buy a house
or work a job or be a spouse
I need a space to be alive
just somewhere to survive

My needs are small
hardly things that matter, all
wind in the face and waters taste
a beach south, in the waste

I laugh and then I grin
I wonder on what might have been
and hoist a glass
hurry, life's too fast.
T Foster

Have you ever noticed that fly fishermen, both men and women, seem cut from a different cloth. There are no towering barons of industry here, no budding leaders of the new millennium. Wealth is a thing which eludes us, something that is measured in flies, rods, and reels. Time on the water is more important than time at work. It has always been this way. A fly fisherman has a different mind set.

I can't imagine Bill Gates of Microsoft fame spending an hour or two watching an eagle, or just sitting there taking in nature, realizing that the present moment will never be there again for his inspection. I can't see him admiring one of Ron Kusse's fine cane rods knowing that he possesses a unique work of art, a product of craftsmanship and love, almost crying at the beauty he sees. Visualizing his turning one of Stan Bogdan's reels each day, addicted, like a previous generation was to the click of a fine railroad watch, that sight escapes me. Touching the things in life that matter the way some handle a rosary is an act reserved for a special few. There is a difference in mind set.

Those industry leaders who fly fish and have more money to spend than some states spend on habitat restoration, came to fly fishing late in life. They made their money and found something lacking. They are a sad lot, trying to catch up for all they missed in the short time they have left. An intense bunch that barely glimpsed the picture, but were so fascinated that they are doomed to chase a dream which the preceding forty or so years of life will forever preclude them. Few will ever appreciate good bourbon from a tin cup. Robert, where are you when we need you most?

There are a few books that should be required reading before a fisherman is allowed to purchase a rod. "Traver, just a drop more in the tin if you please."

I came to the game too early. I love the wind in my face and yes the spray from my boat as it digs in heading into a good north wind. I hope to live long enough to retire to that isolated beach in the waste. I did save to buy a house and my wife gives me enough space so I can exist without Prozac. I have no regrets. I have a house there, south in the waste, I think I can get used to the feel of warm sand underfoot as I walk a deserted beach for an hour or so each day. My job is a means to an end, not my life.

My wealth is not in a bank but retained in my mind. I don't have to hurry up and catch life. I feel I've caught my limit. I have a few friends who I have known since highschool and before. I finally found the right wife, on the first try even, and my kids didn't turn out bad. In fact I'm proud of them.

I'm glad eagles and trout are not listed on the exchange. I wouldn't be able to afford to look at either. Some day I may get to join Jerry on one of his whale watching trips. How can some still kill such creatures? It seems there are perversions present that even I don't understand.

I didn't teach the fly fishing act to my children. Few can handle it. They will most likely never understand me.

The Book says, ". . . thy rod and thy staff they comfort me," as it should be. I never considered I made the wrong choice. Each day reinforces the validity of the life style I chose. I never regretted a moment I spent on the stream. ~ Old Rupe

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