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. Sometimes what you find here will not always be about fishing. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish the flies. Perhaps . . .

Part One hundred-fifteen

Picket Pin

Picket Pin

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

"Picket Pins, with bodies of red, yellow, silver and gold, are the names given to hair flies made by Jack Boehme, of Missoula, Montana.

Jack has been tying flies for western waters since 1915.

Picket Pins are Jack's own patterns. They are dressed from the tails of ground squirrels. The cowboys gave the ground squirrel the name of picket pin as the animal, when sitting upright on the prairie, looks like a picket pin used to picket out their horses. They are a favorite hair fly in the Northwest.

Jack Boehme also has tied flies for use in the Madison River, known throughout the angling world as a producer of record rainbows. One of those is his namesake, 'Boehme's Fancy."

The 'Big Trout'and 'Cutthroat' are also his creations for use in the Rogue and Klamath Rivers."

Publisher's Note: Ground squirrels are actually Richardson Ground Squirrels which in most of the west are commonly called gophers, similar to prairie dogs.

The pattern shown is described in Forgotten Flies as:
    Tag:  Fine gold tinsel (optional) Black.

    Tail:  Two tips of brown hackle or brown hackle fibers.

    Body:   Peacock herl.

    Rib:   Fine oval gold tinsel, or gold wire in smallers sizes counter-wrapped to reinforce the palmered body hackle.

    Wing:   Gray squirrel tail.

    Head:   Peacock herl over black thread.

    Notes: While recognized primarily as a wet fly, the Picket Pin is also very effective when tied in larger sizes and fished as a streamer.

Quoted section from Fly Patterns and Their Origins, by Harold Hinsdill Smedley, published by Westshore Publications. Color photo and recipe from Forgotten Flies. We appreciate use permission!

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