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 . .
A Second Look
By Old Rupe
Archive of Old Flies
Old Rupe got an education in South
Dakota in the fine art of pocket water fishing. Where wild
trout hold and how to fish them with Al Campbell's murderous
fly which most real old timers would recognize as a fly in the
style of Franz Pott's Sandy Mite. This fly is not a copy but
an easier to tie multipurpose fly that can be fished damp or
wet and due to its construction can be tied in smaller sizes
than the Potts flies. Franz's flies were mostly 8-10's and only
wet flies, where Al's flies were 14's and mostly 16's that were
in most cases fished damp as an emerging fly. I guess I
never saw a 14 come to think of it.
It was not only the fly and the water and how to recognize
good spots but how to fish in between those obvious spots,
covering them efficiently without wasting valuable time. Slow
down on the good spots and fish fast through marginal water.
Due to my rather poor health I tended to fish too slow covering
poor water too intensely. I was taking my time and fishing every
possible holding lie several times from every possible position.
This was not the way to do it there. On my home water there are
limited small pockets of good fishing. In South Dakota the smart
thing is move fast and hunt only the most productive water. I
think track shoes would be an asset. This is the "first look."
Where trout will hold and how to fish them. Now as Paul Harvey
says, " here is the rest of the story."
Every good guide can show you the "first look" if he so desires
and that is worth the price of the trip. I was fortunate to be shown
the "second look." Few guides are really keyed in on it. Especially
I got from Al Campbell an insight into where other fishers
would and would not fish. How others would approach a
stream and which trout would be untouched. I never looked
at it through Al's eyes. A "second look" at trout which could
be mine alone if I was smart enough to fish these forgotten
trout. What a revelation! I showed my wife Nelly and she
really keyed in on that act. Her comments still haunt me.
"There just has to be a trout there, others wouldn't fish this
spot hard." I saw her fish a spot for 5 minutes and finally
produce a fish. She said," I just knew a trout had to be there."
Thanks Al. Few have the insight to fish the "second look"
let alone teach it. They may barr you and your act as a
If you see a picture of Al and his fly on a trout stream on
a poster saying this act is prohibited-tear it down and fish
the damn thing. I can't spell his fly but I sure can tie and fish it.
Tie and fish a class act and all will go well. If in doubt ask Al.
~ Old Rupe
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