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 Two hundred-seventeen
Compiled By James Birkholm
Archive of Old Flies
"In 1873 Mr. Mullaly, of the New York Board of Health and
former editor of the "Metropolitan Record," was granted
a patent for an improvement in angling flies.
The design was to produce a more deceptive device by the
construction of the hook. Instead of, as customarily, making
the hook a prolongation of the body of the fly and bending
downward, the hook was turned up and concealed in the wings,
which form a sort of float.
The idea was in the turned up bend and not pattern, for the fly
could be thus tied in many patterns.
The patent granted May 20, 1873, is No. 139,180 and the first
on fishing flies.
The Beaverkill was Mr. Mullaly's favorite trout stream.
In view of the ever recurring discussion of who made the first
dryfly in America it is interesting to note that the specifications
forming part of the letters patent were written about twenty-five
years before dryflies were "introduced" in America. It was
written, that "the wings form a sort of float *** so that the
fly retains its natural position on the water."
The drawing accompanying the patent claim give the impression
of a house fly.
Quoted section and drawing from Fly Patterns and Their Origins
by Harold Hinsdill Smedley, published by Westshore Publications.
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