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
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 . .
Archive of Old Flies
In The Western Angler (1939), Haig-Brown says:
"The art of catching cohos by attravtive and sporting methods means is very
far from fully developed, and there are many waters that have been little
explored by the angler. In Duncan Bay and most of the waters south
of Seymour Narrows a seventeen- or eighteen pound coho is a very big fish
. . . I have caught them up to twenty-four pounds off the mouth of a small creek
just south of the Nimpkish and I have seen a twenty-nine pounder caught in
Baronet Pass. Perhaps larger cohoes are not altogether needed . . . but the
crash of a twenty-pounder jumping clear of the water in his first run has a memorable
savagery . . .There seems a ruthlessness, a momentary surge of overwhelming
power, in the strike of a twenty-pounder to a fly that is lacking in the strike
of a fish much small. (Vol.II, pp.55, 56)"
Haig-Brown, although facinated by the sport, was not too sure that fly fishers
had considered or taken advantaged of other materials besides the multi-coloured
combinations of bucktail and polar bear fur streams. He thought that other
materisl may prove to be more effective and about the winging, he thought
that perhaps "whole saddle feathers, both dyed and natural, mixed with the hair"
would make an excellent wing. In addition he says that "peacock herl is valuable."
along with a score of other materials: turkey or golden pheasant tail, and the
light and dark saddle feather of the red jungle cock are all good. He recommended
that a myriad of combinations be tied and tested and that the development of
effectives flies "must grow and develop from season to season" (Vol.II, p.50).
Credits: From Fly Patterns of British Columbia by Arthur James Lingren,
published by Frank Amato Publications,
Portland Oregon. Ours sincere thanks to for use permission.
- Hook: 2 1/2 inch Long Dee or 7/0 low water salmon.
- Tail: A few fibres of orange polar bear fur.
- Body: Flat silver tinsel.
- Wing: White under olive polar bear fur, with red
jungle cock or natural red hackles laid alongside, and a few strands of
peacock herl and a golden pheasant creast feather over all.
- Originator: Roderick Haig-Brown.
- Intended Use: Wet fly for coho salmon.
- Location: Duncan Bay, B.C.
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