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?
Compiled By James Birkholm
Archive of Old Flies
Quoting from Fly Patterns and Their Origins,
"This pattern, one of the earlier hair flies and the first
known to have been tied in this fashion, in which hair was
used as a substitute for feathers in making the wings, was
created in fun by Carter H. Harrison in 1903, while a guest
on the A.S. Trude ranch, in Idaho.
Red worsted from a rug for a body and a bunch of hair from
a red spaniel dog, put together with a squirrel tail hackle
in the spirit of fun on an over-size muskie hook, and presented
to Mr. Trude, looked so good that a few more serious samples
were made up with a red yarn body wrapped with silver, squirrel
hair tied long enough to show the dark band, and red rooster
hackle. They caught all the fish the party could carry away
from the Snake River, near the ranch.
Mr. Trude was a resident of Chicago, a noted criminal lawyer
and prosecutor of Patrick Prendergast, who was hanged for
slaying the elder Carter H. Harrison in 1893. Alfred S.
Trude died in 1933.
Mr. Harrison has successfully used this pattern on Lake
Superior fontinalis and small mouth bass, and states:
"It's a great fly and the ancestor of a big family."
Originator: Carter Harrison, 1900s.
Another quote, this one from Trout Country Flies by
Bruce Staples, "That Carter Harrison created this fly in 1901 as
a practical joke on his host A.S. Trude is a well known story...
What is less realized is the impact of this fly's wing on future
fly tying. "Trude-style wing" is as recognizable as "Royal Coachman
body" or "tied in the round." Hundreds of patterns are tied with
this wing style."
Hook: Mustad 94840, or equivalent, size 6 - 12.
Thread: Black 6/0.
Tail: Reddish brown hackle fibers.
Body: Scarlet wool yarn.
Rib: Silver tinsel.
Wing: Red fox squirrel tail.
Hackle: Two reddish brown neck or saddle hackles.
Credits: Quoted portions and photo from Fly Patterns
and Their Origins by Harold Hinsdill Smedley, photo and
recipe from: Trout Country Flies
published by Frank Amato Publications.
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