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?


Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

We don't often come across an 'old fly' for saltwater - but here is a dandy! Wouldn't you love to try it? Bet it works!

The Cracker was first tied in 1890 from a pattern designed by Dr. George Trowbridge, of New York, for use in Florida. At that time it was rated as "by far the most killing for Florida fishing, that has yet been tested." It was said to to "too gay and complicated to attempt to describe with clearness." The doctor used it for tarpon and channel bass fishing at Sarasota. On February 23, 1887, the Dr. caught a 17 poung channel bass on a fly.

Dr. Trowbridge said, "because it was born, brought up and a native of Florida, it was given a native's name."

The dressing given in Forgotten Flies, Preston Jennings recipe is:
    Tag: Oval silver tinsel and yellow floss.

    Tail: Blue and yellow goose, and peacock swords.

    Body: Deep blue dubbing.

    Rib: Round gold tinsel.

    Wing: White, black, red, and blue goose, married; peacock swords over top.

    Hackle: Red.

    Head: Red wool.

Credits: Text from Fly Patterns and Their Origins, By Harold Hinsdill Smedley. Color photo and recipe from Forgotten Flies published by Complete Sportsman.

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