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
Fly tied by Eric Austin
Archive of Old Flies
In the 1890s the Blue Jay was considered
one of the very top flies in Maine as well
as eastern Canada.
There are both English and American
Blue Jays. American Jays are protected.
The Blue Jay flies are not imitations of
any insect, but derive their names from the
feather of their wings, obtained from the
plumage of either the common American blue
jay (Cyanocitta cristata) or
that of the English blue jay (Garrulus
glandarius). The color and marking
on the feathers of the two birds are equally
beautiful, but quite different, though apparently
The under portions of most of the feathers are
without the blue and black bars, but they give
some fine dun shades, of most delicate transparancy,
for small gnats and "floating flies."
Recipe Blue Jay:
(from Fly Patterns and Their Origins)
Tail: Barred wood duck.
Body: Silver tinsel.
Wing: Blue, white and black feathers from the jay's wings.
Tag: Scarlet chenille.
Credits: Text from Favorite Flies and
Their Histories by Mary Orvis Marbury and
Fly Patterns and Their Origins by Harold
Hinsdill Smedley, Fly and photo by Eric Austin.
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