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 Seventy-six

The New Age

By Old Rupe


It was New Years day and my Niece came over early. No lazy day and football for Old Rupe. It's let's borrow your old Leonard and some midges and let's fish the flats above the bridge. If she wasn't my favorite niece and didn't put the Tommy Hefflinger model to shame she wouldn't even know I had a cane rod. She knows how to do things. She starts medical school in June and has a couple of months to wait. She works at night as a hostess in a restaurant and spends the day on the river with the rod. She drives a four-wheel drive thing and does the outdoor bit. Quite a girl. Few can use a rod well enough to borrow my Leonard.

My time as a fly fisherman is almost over. I'm now 59 and I realize I no longer can do what I used to. I see myself in her as she fishes aggressively three or four miles of river before noon and returns to the truck with that glow on her cheeks that says it all.

" Tio the fish were easy today," she said as she returned to the truck. I couldn't fish with her as my foot was really laid up big time, but I went anyway. I have a portable TV I plug into the cigarette lighter and since she drives I can drink a Foster Lager and watch the games while she molests the trout. Really not a bad act. Each of us had a good day. My foot is getting better each day and by May I hope to be back on the river.

We fish a narrow river and she prefers a slower rod to fish it. A thirty foot cast is a long cast on my river. We use an 18 ft leader and small flies to do our thing.

It's the passing of the guard. I tie the flies and she now wears the felt off the boots. I try to show her what I can of my sport. I'm afraid to show her salmon as that could be worse than crack cocaine. She already practices with my 9 wt Gatti and my m-4 reel every 2 weeks or so on the river downtown. She complains that she will have arms that are too big. I told her that some day she would find someone to fish with, and if not, God willing those trout and salmon will still be there for her.

I keep telling her salmon fishing is not cheap and even though she just completed pre-med, salmon will strain even a specialists budget. She thinks she would like to catch a salmon on one of the old bamboo salmon rods. A Leonard or such. I have asked Ron Kusse to look for a rod for me, who better to evaluate a rod for the situation?

When I get the reel from Stan she will have a Bogdan to go with the rod.

The new age is hers. I told her go for it. Fish hard for who knows what will be available in the future. She is going to have to learn to tie her own flies. I won't be around forever.

A new millennium for a new fisher. Never forget the old ways. I really tried to tell it like it was. Next I will try to show her how to tie a fly.

Always try to wear out your fly rod, and loose all your flies. The best epitaph is "He used up all of his stuff before he died." I hope I make it. I'm working at it and if I don't do it maybe Sandra will. Old Rupe

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