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 Eighty-five

Coho Golden

Coho Golden

By LadyFisher


In The Western Angler (1939), Haig-Brown says:
"The art of catching cohos by attravtive and sporting methods means is very far from fully developed, and there are many waters that have been little explored by the angler. In Duncan Bay and most of the waters south of Seymour Narrows a seventeen- or eighteen pound coho is a very big fish . . . I have caught them up to twenty-four pounds off the mouth of a small creek just south of the Nimpkish and I have seen a twenty-nine pounder caught in Baronet Pass. Perhaps larger cohoes are not altogether needed . . . but the crash of a twenty-pounder jumping clear of the water in his first run has a memorable savagery . . .There seems a ruthlessness, a momentary surge of overwhelming power, in the strike of a twenty-pounder to a fly that is lacking in the strike of a fish much small. (Vol.II, pp.55, 56)"

Haig-Brown, although facinated by the sport, was not too sure that fly fishers had considered or taken advantaged of other materials besides the multi-coloured combinations of bucktail and polar bear fur streams. He thought that other materisl may prove to be more effective and about the winging, he thought that perhaps "whole saddle feathers, both dyed and natural, mixed with the hair" would make an excellent wing. In addition he says that "peacock herl is valuable." along with a score of other materials: turkey or golden pheasant tail, and the light and dark saddle feather of the red jungle cock are all good. He recommended that a myriad of combinations be tied and tested and that the development of effectives flies "must grow and develop from season to season" (Vol.II, p.50).

Coho Golden

Recipe:

    Hook:  2 1/2 inch Long Dee or 7/0 low water salmon.

    Tail:  A few fibres of orange polar bear fur.

    Body:  Flat silver tinsel.

    Wing:  White under olive polar bear fur, with red jungle cock or natural red hackles laid alongside, and a few strands of peacock herl and a golden pheasant creast feather over all.

    Originator:  Roderick Haig-Brown.

    Intended Use:  Wet fly for coho salmon.

    Location:  Duncan Bay, B.C.

Credits: From Fly Patterns of British Columbia by Arthur James Lingren, published by Frank Amato Publications, Portland Oregon. Ours sincere thanks to for use permission. ~ LadyFisher

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