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 . .
By Old Rupe
Archive of Old Flies
Of hidden folk, my mother spoke
I never quite believed
This failure oft I later thought
The reason why I grieved
Why little things were never right
I finally did believe
Each night in fright a gift I might
Never fail to leave
Tonight I heard a program on Public Radio about hidden folk in Iceland.
They were talking about the elves and other assorted creatures of myth
and were estimating a population of thousands there and more elsewhere.
Now I know. Those small mysteries that have always intrigued me are
finally crystal clear. These folk really exist. Just look around.
RK never tied those minute flies he fishes in the fall. The perfect
umbrella shape of his soft hackles were never tied with those big
clumsy hands. When I ask him how it was done he said, "A little
elf told me."
Told me! Told me? I hardly think so. These little people have been
known to be tipplers for centuries. I think he just leaves a bottle or
two of that nice red wine he favors by his tying bench and in the
morning when he wakes up he just scrapes those flies into his fly box.
Another hard night at the bench. Just dispose of the empties and don't
step on an elf. Never try to substitute milk. I also noticed a funny
looking spot in his back yard that he never manicured. An elf spot?
Anyone that has all the small flies he needs must be "elf blessed."
I suspect small hand involvement here.
Al C's fine micro spaced stitching on his Pott's flies were never
done by human hands. No wonder I can't match him. He didn't quit
drinking because of medication conflicts. The truth is with real elf
utilization one can't afford good drink. I hear they can have a real
Sorry is the man who shorts the wee ones their reward.
I have heard stories of 15 to 20 flies mysteriously tied together
found in the morning. It appeared 16/0 thread was used. When
one fly was cut loose from the bunch they all came apart.
Ron K the bamboo man is another case in point. When I look
at the end of his rods, where the fine planing is most evident, there
is the sniff of elf. I suspect that he along with Gillum and Payne
bought them good single malt scotch. From the looks of some of
the younger makers rods, generic beer was served. There's nothing
worse than an elf with "bitter beer face." Never slight your elf.
I've watched James and Deanna cast and it's amazing, and then
I wondered. I beat her in a casting event with a strange rod, and
James didn't look real great when he worked my old glass 4 wt.
I suspect they are used to using "blessed" rods. It's a good thing
that those elves like absolute and orange juice.
The other morning my wife complained about finding two opened
beers on the table near the bench. When I told her they were
offerings to the elves she took away my car keys.
It's a long walk to the mini market and Sal doesn't deliver. It's embarrassing
to borrow the neighbor kid's wagon every night but I expect my
cardiologist will be proud of me. One does what he has to.
~ Old Rupe
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