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 Ninety-seven



Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

"Albert Nelson Cheney, who was born in 1849 and lived fifty-two years of his life at Glen's Falls, New York, was the creator of the fly that bears his name. The fly was tied by his close friend, Charles F. Orvis, of Manchester, Vermont, who started manufacturing flies in 1877.

A.N. Cheney was one of the foremost authorities on angling of his time. For about nine years he served as fishing editor for Forest & Stream magazine, after which he was in charge of the fishing end of the magazine, Shooting and Fishing. For several years he conducted the "Angling Notes" column in the American Angler.

He served his home State of New York in the Fisheries, Game & Forest Commission as fish culturist, being first appointed in 1885. He served as president of the National Fisheries Congress and also vice president of the International Fisheries Society.

Albert N. Cheney and Charles F. Orvis collaborated, in 1885, in the publishing of that attractive little book Fishing With A Fly.

The Cheney fly, as tied by Mr. Orvis at Mr. Cheney's direction, had the upper half of the body red and the lower half yellow, with a silver rib. It had a dark tail and deep yellow hackle.

The trout pattern differed from the bass pattern in the matter of the wings. The trout fly had a jungle cock wing and the bass fly, a black barred mallard wing.

We can't help by note in passing that Charles F. Orvis, who probably participated in the creation of more flies than any other American anglers, never had a fly named after him. Mr. Orvis was born in 1831 in Manchester, Vermont, where he always lived. He died about the same time as his friend, Albert Cheney."

Information from Fly Patterns and Their Origins, published by Westshore Publications, Color photo from Forgotten Flies. We appreciate use permission!

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