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 Fifty-one

My Sport

By Old Rupe


My sport just doesn't have the pizzazz that some others exhibit. There are usually no fireworks displays going off when I approach the truck after a hard day on the stream. I seldom have two or three network sports casters inquire what the winning fly of the day was or whether my defeat at the "hands (or should I say fins) of my opponent(s) would mark me for life. I have no stream side "dog pound" with their painted bodies, funny masks and signs. I would really like to have the Dallas Cowboy's cheerleaders encouraging me from the side lines, but I would settle for a "nice fish" from a nameless passing angler.

Rupe's Cheerleaders

I need a fluorescent red shirt with Gatti Rods, Sage Rods and Cortland lines emblazoned across the back in letters large enough to be read from the "G" seats, and separate shirts labeled with stuff I never use that I could change into for the three to four photo sessions at the end of each day. I can't even get Foster's Lager to send me a jacket and I've flogged it harder than many basketball stars did Nike. I even have trouble talking my fishing companion Dave into buying fifty-cent burgers at Grabills for lunch. In many ways my sport just fails to measure up.

It's a solitary thing, my sport. Crowds of people run me off of even the best waters. I would rather share my toothbrush than my favorite fishing spot. The future looks bleak for fly fishing. Foster's Lager went up twenty cents at the local store and the drought caused my stream to run two feet lower than it has for twenty years.

The primary problem is that we have no real role models in the sport. The real good fishermen just never get mentioned. I'm older than dirt and I have seen most of the acts that have came down the pike. The real good fisher persons, yes some women really fall in here, just never get media attention. Who gets the attention and the endorsements and the perks? Why the writers of course, most of which can't write and don't really fish. Their interest in the sport is the twenty five cents a word they get paid for each article. These are our role models?

I'm glad that I still retain my amateur status. I would have to drink Miller beer and fish XXXXX rods. Maybe even endorse Power Bait. It seems that in the endorsement business there is no level to which one will not stoop. In my sport it seems that there aren't many endorsement dollars even for power bait. Those that really fish just never learned to milk the cash cow. In most cases the cow was not even available. I can remember the two free leaders that I received from a company representative. I appreciated the thought even though they were not designed quite the way I would have liked.

I decided early on that I would not make fishing my business. He who tries to live off his sport starves and losses the fun that attracted him to the sport in the first place. I spent one summer manufacturing lures for others to use. I lost the summer and didn't make enough to justify my time. Never again.

What do we really need? Available pro's like those in tennis and golf that will help a serious fly fisher improve his "game." Structured time on the stream or at the vise addressing a fishers deficiencies. Maybe a 8-10 hour session, three hours at a time, on entomology and what really happens when trout feed. A beginner could look at what he wanted to do with the sport and have the means available to accomplish it. The great thing would be to have the opportunity to change his mind as time goes along. A casual thing could become an obsession three to four hours at a time each month over a 5-10 year period.

The sport may need the above but I can remember the time when I fished my river for five years and never saw another fly fisher. I remember the time when fly fishing was old Rupe alone. Old Rupe needs more of this isolation, but without outside participation my sporting opportunities may be lost.

Maybe I should pass out tooth brushes to all. I have this great spot to fish. This secret spot is just great.

Everyone needs a secret fishing spot where he can always be successful.

Send $49.50 to old Rupe and he will mail you instructions to this spot where trout are as long as your leg.

Fast Eddies trout stretch.

If you will buy some of the current rods and reels being marketed and the associated necessary gear, then I will finally be able to give up my profession.

Who says a blind hog can't find an acorn?

With a little luck we will find you a trout or two tomorrow.

Buy C-4 (for those of you in eastern block nations it's Semitex).

Never fail to appreciate modern technology.

Now you understand the game.

Cover your ears and only cast to rising fish. ~ Old Rupe

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