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 One hundred fourty-six

Golden Demon

Golden Demon

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm


There seem to be some differences on the origin of this fly. According to Dick Surette's Trout and Salmon Fly Index, "The Golden Demon is probably the most used fly on Black Lake and in the Connecticut Lakes area of N.H. This fly has an interesting and well-traveled background. The fly was originated in England and brought to New Zealand where Zane Grey use it in the 1920's. He then brought some flies back to the West Coast for steelhead and salmon. Then the fly appeared on the salmon rivers of New Brunswick, especially on the Cains River. From New Brunswick the pattern filtered down to the area northern New Hampshire in the early 1930's and has been a most popular pattern in that area ever since. The orange throat is supposed to be the color that is repulsive to demons and is tied in several variations such as the Silver Demon and Black Demon."

But in Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing by Joeph D. Bates, Jr., "The three Demon streamers described above [Cains River Black Demon Streamer, Gold Demon Streamer, and Silver Demon Streamer] were adapted or originated by Mr. C. Jim Pray, of Eureka, California, and the dressings are from originals tied by him."

Golden Demon

    Tail: Three golden pheasant crest feathers, curving upward.

    Body: Yellow floss (Leiser dressing calls for flat gold tinsel.)

    Rib: Flat gold tinsel (Leiser dressing contains no rib.)

    Wing: Bronze mallard flank feather.

    Hackle: Bright orange hackle collared and tied back.

Author and tier Ray Bergman was also fond of the Golden Demon and his variation and recipe are also provided here.

Ray Bergman Version

    Tag: Flat silver tinsel.

    Tail: Golden pheasant tippets.

    Body: Gold tinsel.

    Rib: Oval silver tinsel.

    Wing: White followed by yellow polar bear.

    Throat: Yellow and orange hackle collar.

~ DLB

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