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 ninty-three
Compiled by Deanna Lee Birkholm
Archive of Old Flies
The Yellow Perch is one of a series of twenty-one flies known
as the Thunder Creek Series, created by Keith Fulsher.
The creator and tyer Keith Fulsher in Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing
"The first Thunder Creek patterns were tied in the spring of 1962
and tested in their northern Wisconsin namesake river that same
summer. I was seaching for a method of tying a minnow fly that would
produce an imitation more lifelike in appearance and action than the
conventional bucktails and streamers that were in general use. I was
familiar with the old procedure of reversing bucktail on a hook to make
a small ball head on a fly, but the technique had not been developed to
accurately imitate a baitfish in overall proportion or in coloring. Using
this reversing technique and two or sometimes three colors of bucktail,
I lengthened the head to about one fifth the length of the entire fly,
using brown hair for the back, white for the belly, and dyed shades for
the flank coloring, if needed. Red tying thread provided a flash of gill
coloring. After the head was well coated with lacquer, a yellow base
eye with a black pupil was added in about the center of the head.
Recipe: Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)
Over time modest changes have also been made in tying
procedures. I now tie the flies with white thread instead of red. This
allows them to be tied more sparsely because it eliminates the necessity
of using a heavy batch of white bucktail to cover up the red thread
wrappings in the throat area. Now if little gaps appear between the
strands of reversed white hair in the head area, the white tying thread
blends in and the fly looks slim and neat. Gill coloring is added by
putting a touch of red lacquer on each side of the bottom part of the
white thread wrappings that hold the bucktail in the reversed position.
In addition, I now use light cream-colored lacquer instead of yellow for
the base eye. This is more in keeping with the true eye color of most
All of the Thunder Creek patterns can be tied in marabou by
substituting that material in the proper colors for the bucktail initially
called for. In weighting a fly, I like to add the weight only to the
forward part of the hook shank, primarily under the head. This keep
the fly from riding upside down due to the added weight upsetting the
natural hook balance and give the fly a little diving action as you swim
it across the water in a series of darting motions. A 4X to 6X long
straight eye hook is the best one to use because the straight eye acts as
an extension of the head and the retrieve is not influenced by an up- or
down-turned hook eye. In addition, the procedure of reversing the
bucktail to shape the head and body of the fly is much easier to
accomplish on a straight eye hook than on an up or down eye.
Partridge of Redditch makes a beautiful Thunder Creek hook and I
highly recommend it. ~ Keith Fulsher."
Hook Shank Covering: Embossed gold tinsel.
Credits: Quoted text and black and white photo from
Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing, by Joseph D. Bates, Jr.,
Published by Stackpole Books. Colored fly photos from
Forgotten Flies, published by Complete Sportsman.
Lateral Coloring: Well-barred grizzly hackle feathers
(two) dyed bright yellow on top of the hook shank.
Top of Head and Back: Brown part of a green dyed
Tottom of Head and Belly: White bucktail.
Eye: Cream lacquer with black pupil.
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