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 Eighty-three

Origin of the Hendrickson

By LadyFisher

"It was after Albert Everett Hendrickson, of Scarsdale, New York, that this fly was named.

Of this pattern Roy Steenrod, State Conservation Inspector, whose home is in Liberty, New York, says:

"Theodore Gordon tied flies for A.E. Hendrickson. After Gordon's death in 1915, A.E. as it was that I always called him, wrote to me about the tying of flies for him and in May, 1915, he came to Liberty to see me. He was accompanied by George Stephenson and from that time until the passing of A.E. we fished together each year. Our fishing trips took place on the Esopus, Neversink, Willowemoc and Beaverkill Rivers. It was about this time that the dry fly became popular in the U.S. and on the above rivers.

Hendrickson - Ephemerella subvaria

"One day in 1916, while we were fishing the Beaverkill below the junction pool at Roscoe, a hatch of flies came on. We had never seen the fish rise so freely for any fly as they did for this hatch. I caught one of the flies and put it into my fly box, and after lunch that day at Ferdon's I tied some patterns of the fly as nearly as I could. We took fish with fly day in and day out, and for years it proved to be a killer and is so today. One day, while sitting on the bank of the stream perhaps two years after I had tied the first patterns, the matter was brought up as to which I would call or name the fly. Looking at A.E., the best friend a person could ever wish to have, I said, 'the fly is the Hendrickson.' I saw at once that A.E. was pleased.

"Since the first Hendrickson, several patterns have been put on the market, called the light and dark Hendrickson, but none are tied true to color. The Hendrickson is tied with the tails from the crest of a golden pheasant; the wings - wood duck; body - fawn colored fur from the belly of a red fox; hackle - dun, almost transparent, or water color."

The first single-handed, detachable butt, dryfly salmon rod was made to Mr. Hendricksons's order and specifications by Jim Payne, son of Ed. Payne, original founder of the Payne Rod Company and former employee of Hiram L. Leonard. Hendrickson was the first to conceive the idea of and actually catch baby tarpon on flies, which he did in Panama." "

Credits: From Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedley, published by Westshore Publications, Muskegon, Michigan 1950. Ours sincere thanks to Rich Colo. ~ LadyFisher

Archive of Old Flies

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ]

FlyAnglersOnline.com © Notice