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 eighty-six

Copper Bug

Copper Bug

Compiled by Deanna Lee Birkholm


A recent post on our Bulletin Board mentioned the passing of Dick Surette. We have shown several flies in this section from Trout and Salmon Fly Index by Dick Surette, he was also the author of Trout and Salmon Flies: A Guide.

In his honor, we offer the following fly, from Trout and Salmon Fly Index.

This original pattern by Dick Surette was entered as his choice of flies in the Open category in the 1975 International Fly Tyer's Competition sponsored by the United Fly Tyers of Boston, Mass. According to the book, "The choice of materials was made with the intention that most flies should be simple in basic construction and made with available materials. By using the copper wire as an intregal part of the fly we gain the copper color, which is most effective and we also gain a segment effect with the spiral wrapping of the wire on the outside of the abdomen."

Copper Bug
As dressed by Dick Surette

    Hook:  Mustad #38941 or #9672, size 4-6-8-10-12-14-16.

    Thread:  Brown monocord or brown pre-waxed nylon.

    Tail:  Cock pheasant barbules.

    Body:  Wrap abdomen with one layer of #30 copper wire (the type used for rewiring electrical motors), wrap thorax with two layers of same. Then wrap thorax with orange floss or silk, shape to basic nymph shape to size of hook. Wrap abdomen with single wrapping of copper wire.

    Ribbing:  Peacock herl with fine overlay of fine gold oval tinsel. This will give added strength to the peacock herl.

    Legs:  Brown hackle, trimmed top and bottom.

    Covert:  Cock pheasant [wing case].

    Thorax:  Peacock herl, tied full.

Credits: Information and photo from Trout and Salmon Fly Index, by Dick Surette, published by Stackpole Books.

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