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-nine

Bob White

Bob White

Compiled by Deanna Lee Birkholm

Quoting from Favorite Flies and Their Histories by Mary Orvis Marbury, here is a letter from a Mr. Dunlap, Cedarville, Ohio, written April 6, 1891 regarding this bass fly"
"My dear Sir, - I inclose you a specimen of the Bob White, designed by me in the year 1889, but not used until the season of 1890, when I gave it a thorough test in connection with the best flies known to me for the waters of this locality. My reasons for not trying it sooner were that the fly was made more to utilize what I considered a beautiful feather combining good colors, and to gratify a natural disposition to originate and construct, than with the hope of producing anything equal to my favorite fly, the Gov. Alvord, which for some time I had regarded unapproachable as a fly for the small-mouth black bass of our rocky streams. But last year I began to use it as an upper fly in connection with Grizzly King and Gov. Alvord, the latter as stretcher. In this rather disadvantageous position I found that it was sometimes taken in preference to either of the other flies, and I concluded to give it a fair trial by substituting it for Gov. Alvord as the tail fly, with the latter as first dropper. In this position it was almost invariably taken in preference to either of the other flies, or any flies used in connection with it during the season. It seemed to have the preference under all ordinary conditions of water and at all times of day. So I came to the unexpected but gratifying conclusion that in Bob White I had the best fly of all those known to me. I send it to you because I that you are interested inthese things, and because I have, perhaps, a pardonable pride not only in the merits of the fly, but also in its rather comely appearance. I also hope that some one may be induced to try it on trout, and I should be glad to hear with what result.

The feather from which Bob White is made is found in the wing of our quail, close to the body of the bird. There are a number of feathers there with the whitish-brown border and dark, velvety, mottled appearance which practically answer the same purpose; but I have selected the one in the fly as the handsomest and most desirable and therefore the typical feather for the fly. I had at first thought of naming the fly Bob White, but did not decide to do so until I had booked my first bass on it. While playing this fish, a quail near by was whistling "Bob White," and I decided, then and there, to name the fly accordingly.

Yours very truly,
Jep. G. Dunlap"

Bob White
As dressed by Mary Orvis Marbury

    Tag:  Silver tinsel.

    Tail:  Scarlet and white fibers.

    Body:  Peacock herl.

    Wing:  Quail.

    Hackle:  Scarlet.

Credits: Quoted text from Favorite Flies and Their Histories, published by Lyons Press. Fly photo and dressing from Forgotten Flies, published by Complete Sportsman.

Archive of Old Flies

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ]

FlyAnglersOnline.com © Notice