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 . .
The Last Trout of The Season
By Old Rupe
Archive of Old Flies
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
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
Maybe all seasons in life should end this way.
~ Old Rupe
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