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?

Sofa Pillow

Sofa Pillow

Compiled By James Birkholm


"This pattern is a major contribution by Pat Barnes to fly fishing. It was named spontaneously. Once in the 1940s, Pat hosted a group of Texans who couldn't hook trout on small flies. To solve their problem, Pat used materials on his tying bench to tie a large dry stonefly pattern. When one Texan say the result in Pat's hand beside a size 16 fly, de drawled "It's a big as a sofa pillow!" Pat responded "You named it!" Pat offered Sofa Pillows with red squirrel tail wing or a gray squirrel tail wing."

    Originator: Pat Barnes, 1940s.

    Hook: Mustad 9672, or equivalent, size 4-10.

    Thread: Black 6/0.

    Tail: Dyed red goose quill section.

    Body: Red floss.

    Wing: Red or gray squirrel tail.

    Hackle: Three or four brown saddle hackles."

~ JC

Credits: The quoted text and photograph from Trout Country Flies, by Bruce Staples, published by Frank Amato Publications.

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