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 sixty-nine
Compiled by Deanna Birkholm
Archive of Old Flies
The Collie Dog is one of the 'old' flies which has refused
to disappear. It probably originated during the eighteenth
century, either as a result of the movement to hairwing flies,
or out of necessity. No at-hand supply of the feathers used
at that time for Atlantic Salmon flies.
As was quoted in an earlier article here: "People used what they had,
and they quite sensibly named each fly from its ingredients, so its name
told the neighbors exactly what was used to catch the 'big one' of the
day." Nearly every British landowner had a Border Collie, and the hair
from them is what is used for the Collie Dog fly.
The modern version, above is tied as a tube fly, and is still in
use in the United Kingdom. The second version, below, is the
original pattern as it is still tied and used today in Iceland.
This is the original pattern.
Credits: Information and photo from Fishing Atlantic
Salmon by Joseph D. Bates, Jr., and Pamela Bates Richards,
Body: Flat silver tinsel.
Ribbing: Round silver tinsel.
Wing: Black or mixed black and white hair from Border Collie.
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