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 Fourty-seven

The Last Trout of The Season

By Old Rupe

I only have one river. Those that are more fortunate probably can't understand a 25 year marriage to a river. I've had brief flings with other rivers but this is my one hour escape from reality. The place where I stalk 12 inch trout and imagine I'm in New Zealand or Montana.

I have individual fish I work. They may not be the same fish but they hold in the same spot and are suckers for the same fly each time. Generally its a 16 Troth Elk Hair Caddis tied with deer hair. I just can't like the bleached elk hair that the original sports. It seems to glare at me and just say a trout should never bite me.

Somehow the bleached original catches more trout than any other fly in the west, maybe the east too. I just can't fish it. I've fished my version for 15 to 20 years on my river and will probably never change.

My river "leafs up" each year in the fall. Usually it's later but with the drought it started a month early. My friend Dave says the aquifer is down at least five feet this year so my spring-fed river may not be herself for quite a while.

I always have one last go at the river each year. It's always so late that the leaves ruin any hope of scoring big and I never seem to fish the big muddlers that I should. Small nymphs and dries till I die. I just won't fish the spawning fish, and there are some. It would be like entering a friends bedroom and interrupting a special moment. Whether the eggs survive or not its just something I shouldn't do.

This year I took my wife. A special moment with a special person. We went to the local deli and packed a super picnic lunch: some great cheeses and crackers, a good wine, a nice pate and some outstanding smoked fish that we ate with our fingers.

We fished the section above the bridge that I particularly like and she got a small trout on a wet fly that Al Campbell in Rapid City ties. It had a slight gravity enhancer crimped on about eight inches above the fly.

We then called it a year and spread an old blanket by the little dam and just watched the river while we ate our lunch.

We sat there until it got too cold and got in my truck and went home.

Maybe all seasons in life should end this way. ~ Old Rupe

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