Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of 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
Most books, and yes, even we here, bring 'new and
improved' designs; however, in days long gone, fish
readily accepted these creations; 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. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you
will fish them. Perhaps . . .
OLD RUPE'S GREEN MONSTER
By "old rupe"
Archive of Old Flies
Years ago, while I was first exploring fly-tying I frequented a shop that
had an unusual collection of flies. The flies were more a reflection of the
owners taste than of what would work or sell in the area. He had foreign
flies from places geography majors would have difficulty finding. They were
always done nice. He had flies from England, Sawyers pt nymphs done by
the family, South African flies before it was chic to stock foreign flies, each
fly a little different from what you would find in a catalog or shop.
After I got paid each week I would spend 30 to 40 minutes looking at
the flies and then buy something to sort of "pay my way". Usually it was
hooks, feathers or tinsel. The real thrust of the visit was to look at the flies.
I just hated to buy a fly as I thought with a little practice and the right
materials I could do it too.
He had English hooks that I would today pay $40.00 a box for, and a
gruff personality that would alienate a goat. Those unusual flies were
what kept me coming back.
I finally found a fly that over the weeks and months I couldn't guess how
it was done. An admission that there was a tier or tiers that was better
than me. A person from one of those third world countries that I couldn't
even copy. These tiers were supposed to be copiers not me. So I finally
gave in an bought the fly, It was the last one he had.
I put it on my bench and over the course of 25 years looked at it 3-4
days a week. A modern day Ahab. Never understanding how it was
done. Never giving up on the possibility that I might on a good day
"catch the act."
Today it's still here. I still haven't caught the act. I still look at it about
an hour a week and despise the third world tier that did what I couldn't
do and that gruff old b-------- that imported it.
I now understand why people burn down fly shops.~"Old Rupe"
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