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 fifty-two

Tomahawk

Tomahawk

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm


From Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing by Joseph D. Bates, Jr., "As the wife of Rangeley guide Wallace Stevens, Carrie taught herself to tie flies at their cottage in Upper Dam. Her talents as a milliner are evident in both her style and creative use of color. Carrie's early flies were bucktails and were numbered rather than names. Instrumental in the early development of what is now known as the Rangeley style of streamers. Carrie Stevens originated dozens of distinctive patterns and has a permanent place in fly tying history."

The fly above is from, Forgotten Flies by Paul Schmookler and Ingrid V. Sills, published by the Complete Sportsman. However, photography, lighting or the interpretation of tyers does vary, the fly above was tied by Marcelo Morales. The fly below, (which is also the recipe below) is the original fly as dressed by Carrrie herself, and from Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing by Joseph D. Bates, Jr., published by Stackpole Books.

Stevens Original

Tomahawk (as dressed by the originator)

    Head: Black with red band.

    Tag: Flat silver tinsel.

    Body: Red floss.

    Ribbing: Flat silver tinsel.

    Throat: Peacock herl and white bucktail. The peacock is as long as the wing, the bucktail only slightly shorter; under these, blue hackle fibers.

    Wing: Four medium blue saddlehackles on each side of which is an orange saddlehackle slightly shorter.

    Shoulders: Golden pheasant green body feather one third as long as the wing.

    Cheeks: Jungle cock.

~ DLB

Credits: Top photo from Forgotten Flies by Paul Schmookler and Ingrid V. Sills, published by the Complete Sportsman. Text and recipe and lower photo from: Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing by Joseph D. Bates, Jr., published by Stackpole Books.

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