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?

The Logie

By Eric Austin

The Logie is a bit of an oddball. First, it's one of a handful of old feather winged salmon flies that is still in use today. Designed for the Scottish river Dee, it is today used as a low-water fly, on a bright day when the water is clear, and you don't want to use a fly that's too "pretentious." The second thing that's odd about the fly, at least to a salmon fly tier, is how it has changed.

Salmon flies are typically recognized by their bodies. There are no rules where the wings are concerned, or certainly few, but the rules regarding bodies are rigid and cast in stone. I can tie three Silver Doctors that look nothing at all alike at first glance. The uninitiated would say they were completely different patterns. But if they all have silver tinsel bodies, a red berlin wool butt section, and a red berlin wool head, chances are very good that they're all Silver Doctors, even if they look like different flies. Not so with the Logie. The body on the Logie has changed. The original had a body of dark claret silk, and was presented that way by Hardy and Hale, as well as Kelson. But along comes Pryce-Tannatt, and he changes everything. The body is now 2/5 primrose floss silk and the rest red floss silk. Other things about the pattern remain the same, except he does away with the jungle cock cheeks as well. This is the pattern that has survived to this day. However, it must be noted that it is a stunning violation of every "rule" of salmon fly tying to seriously change the body of a recognized pattern, and yet that's just what Pryce-Tannatt did. In light of the fact that his pattern is still tied and fished today, we can only surmise that he knew what he was doing.

I'd like to say a word here about Warren Duncan. He is a noted professional salmon fly tier from New Brunswick, Canada, and there is an article in the recent Art of Angling Journal featuring his excellently tied flies. If you can get a copy, there are beautifully tied versions of most of the flies used for salmon fishing today. Though he ties mostly hair-wings these days, there is a lovely Logie on the second page of his flies, lending credence to its viability. Stan Headley also features the fly in his book Trout and Salmon Flies of Scotland. He mentions the original, devised by W. Brown, with its claret body, but shows the recipe for the one I've done here. Here it is:

The Logie

    Hook: Singles & doubles, 4-12.

    Silk: Yellow.

    Tag: Fine oval silver.

    Tail: Golden Pheasant Crest.

    Body: In two parts: first two fifths-yellow floss; remainder-red floss.

    Rib: Oval silver.

    Throat: Light blue cock.

    Wing: Yellow swan or goose veiled with bronze mallard.

    Head: Black.

Credits: Classic Salmon Flies by Mikael Frodin; Trout and Salmon Flies of Scotland by Stan Headley; Art of Angling Journal, Volume 2 Issue 4, Paul Schmookler and Ingrid Sils ~ Eric Austin

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