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?


Matador

Compiled by Deanna Lee Birkholm


This Matador tied by Marvin Nolte of Bar Nunn, Wyoming is a fine example of flies used for bass in the 1800s. In her book, Favorite Flies and Their Histories, 1892, (1988), Mary Orvis Mayberry wrote,

"This fly was designed by Mr. William J. Cassard, of New York City and later named by C.F. Orvis the Matador; i.e., the killer. Its gay, rich dress reminds one of the picturesque matador of the Spanish bull-fights, who is also the triumphant killer. Mr. Cassard has also invented two similar patterns that are excellent bass flies, which he calls the Romany Rye and Romany Ree, both having wings of the black barred wood duck, like those of the Matadore."

Although only a few pages relate to bass, Paul Schuller's American Fly Fishing: A History 1987, is another interesting reference book.

Recipe Matador

    Hook: Blind eye salmon, snelled silkworm gut leader.

    Tip: Fine silver round tinsel.

    Tag: Red Floss.

    Butt: Peacock herl.

    Tail: Married swan or goose, red over yellow over black.

    Body: Flat, silver tinsel.

    Wing: Barred woodduck flank feather.

    Hackle: Green.

    Head: Red wood.

Credits: Text from and color photo from Hot Bass Fies by Deke Meyer published by Frank Amato Publications.

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