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?
Part One hundred fifty-four
Hoot Smith Special
Compiled by Deanna Birkholm
Archive of Old Flies
First tied in the mid 1960's, the Hoot Smith Special is not really an 'old' fly, but
is remarkable because it was the beginning of what has become the 'modern'
atlantic salmon flies.
Quoting Dick Surette's Trout and Salmon Fly Index "This Atlantic
salmon hairwing pattern was orginated and tied by "Hoot Smith," a registered guide
and owner of the Governor's Table Camps of Hartland, New Brunswick. First
tied in the mid 1960's, this pattern reflects the modern approach to simplified
salmon dressing. Slim, well proportioned, and tied with readily available
materials, it is a very basic style that is a steady producer on salmon waters.
Hoot stated: "Many people tie flies for looks but I always try to make a fly that
catches fish. I like my flies on the skimpy, sparse side. The preferred wing
material is black Russian squirrel but is very hard to obtain; dark fitch tail or
dyed black squirrel can be substituted. The proper body color is most important
and should be fluorescent pink; an optional version is with a black hackle collar."
The simple hairwing salmon fly is becoming the standard fly on many rivers. Several
trout patterns tied hairwing style are good salmon flies - namely, Professor, Royal
Coachman, and March Brown, all tied with hairwings in place of quill wings."
[published in 1978.]
Hoot Smith Special
Hook: Mustad #36890 or Mustad #3582C doubles.
Thread: Black silk or pre-waxed nylon.
Tag: Medium oval silver tinsel.
Body: Fluorescent pink, Danville depth ray wool.
Ribbing: Medium oval silver tinsel.
Wing: Black Russian squirrel, dark fitch tail, or dyed black squirrel.
Credits: Fly photo and recipe from Dick Surette's Trout and Salmon Fly Index
published by Stackpole Books.
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