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 Deanna Birkholm
Flies tied by Eric Austin
Archive of Old Flies
"The Grizzly King was a pattern by Professor James
Wilson, brother of John Wilson [creator of the
Professor fly]. In Rod and Gun, 1840, he
describes his fly as:
"The Grizzly King is a hackle par excellence.
They call him Coomberland in the northern parts
of merry England. His wings are broad and burly,
formed of any undyed feather, bearing narrow natural
bars of black and white, and he bristles with many
stripes from head to heel, his dark green body
being wound about with gray or mottled hackle, and
terminated by a fiery tail, turned up in what
naturalists call an ensiform manner - that is,
somewhat after the fashion of a sword."
It is believe to have been tied in imitation of
the dark green drake.
"What seems his head,
The likeness of a kingly crown has on."
A present day tying compared to the Morman Girl
discloses only a different colored body."
About 1820 James Wilson was reputed "'the
best trout angler with the fly in Europe.'"
The 'wet fly' version, or fishing version of the
Grizzly King is below.
Publisher's Note: As is common in researching
old flies, there are many versions of the 'original'
recipe. The version Eric used is the Ray Bergman
Credits: Text and recipe from Fly
Patterns and Their Origins by Harold
Hinsdill Smedley. Flies tied by Eric Austin.
Color photo by James Birkholm.
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