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 . .

Part Twenty-nine

Favorite Things

By Old Rupe

Earlier, I was tying some particularly nasty small flies and during much needed breaks between these horrors I found myself thinking about favorite things, which these were obviously not.

I have more elk hair caddis flies than Al Troth, I tie them with deer hair, mostly in 16,18 and 20's on Diachi 1310's. I have more than I'll ever use, but I just enjoy tying them. Sure I use them but I'll only use one or two flies a day on the stream. They are a favorite thing. I just enjoy tying and using them.

I have more rods than some shops but I continue to use my Sage ll2, even when I shouldn't. I would rather throw that rod and catch no fish than fish a lesser rod. I have several better performing rods, five or six Gatti's in fact, but I find that I start and seem to end with my Sage. Probably the result of shaken baby syndrome.

I have owned over the years more fly boxes than most fly fishers. My most prized boxes are a multi compartment Bonnard and the felt lined Cortland. I would rather carry my flies in them than in the high dollar, flip lid, aluminum, English ones that I tried earlier in life. Maybe I just like the way my flies look in these boxes.

The water above the 36 bridge on my river draws me even from better streams. Some days I just sit there waiting for a rise, and if it doesn't happen I don't feel cheated.

I gave away two really nice vises after I realized that I hadn't tied a fly on either in over a year. I guess I love my Renzetti.

My Uni Thread 8/0, French tinsel, Pearsols silk thread, Dr. Slik scissors, and Griffin hair stacker round out my tying act.

Opps - I forgot Sally Hansons Hard as Nails. Who could tie without it?

Each of us has his favorite things. This is a glimpse into some of the things that makes my life pleasant. I guess they help define me as a person. Sometimes they sound like a collection of toys or a catalog. This was not the intention. Each of us has his small collection of tools and toys that insulate the individual from the rest of the world.When I was younger I tried all. Now I try to revisit those favorite things that I really enjoy.

I guess my viewpoint can be summarized in a conversation I had with the kid I was teaching to fly fish.

I was describing the enjoyment of fishing to naive brookies in an isolated setting that I had almost exclusive access to. He said " how can you enjoy fishing to easy brookies when browns are more challenging?"

My comment was "I can see you never had the opportunity to take a willing girl to the dance." ~ Old Rupe

PS - I guess there are some things that you just can't teach.

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