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 . .
By Deanna Birkholm
Archive of Old Flies
The whole series of Rangely flies are often credited to Carrie Stevens. But others
contributed by inventing very effective flies. The Black Ghost, shown above was
the creation of Herb Welch. (1879 - 1960).
Herbert Leon Welch was one of the first to establish a successful retail shop
in the Rangely Lakes region. He is said to have started fly fishing at age
seven, pulled out feathers from his father's roosters and tied them on a
bent pin. According to the information in Forgotten Flies
he received his first fly rod from a local small town comic actor. He was formally
trained as an artist and sold artwork alongside his taxidemy and artificial flies.
The Black Ghost was first tied under Herb's direction at the Boston Sportsman's
show in 1927. He also created the Cupsuptic Streamer, Jane Craig, Yellow Jane
Craig, Kennebago and Welch Rarebit.
Limited to twenty member, he was a member of the Kennebago Tribe, a club
founded after World War I by Charles Southard for the advancement of the
sport, conservation of trout and other gamefish, and mutual companionship.
He was also a member of the Tyhee Club of British Columbia, where it was
necessary to catch a thirty-pound fish with limited equipment to be a eligible
For two years he held the world record for a bonefish on a fly rod. In 1950
he caught a twelve-pound-four-ounce bonefish on a red bodied, yellow-winged
streamer. His record was beaten by two ounces in 1952.
The Black Ghost is tied: body, black floss, ribbed with silver tinsel; tail,
yellow hackel fibers; wing, white neck hackles; hackle, sparse yellow;
shoulder, jungle-cock eye. ~ LadyFisher
Information from Forgotten Flies published by
The Complete Sportsman and Fly Patterns and Their
Origins, published by Westshore Publications.
Photo is from Forgotten Flies, we greatly
appreciate use permission!
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