Old Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books

Have you ever wondered about the history of fly fishing? It’s an interesting topic to me, which explains why I’ve been reading old fly fishing and fly tying books lately. Why? First, they are a source for my Throw Back Thursday Flies. Secondly, I wonder how previous generations fished and what some of their streamside conversations were.

Favorite Flies and Their Histories | www.johnkreft.com

I always enjoyed reading the Pioneers & Legends stories in NW Fly Fishing Magazine. John Shewey, the magazine’s editor, writes some of these articles. It’s one of the reasons I purchased his books Classic Steelhead Flies and Spey Flies & Dee Flies, Their History & Construction to read more about our fly fishing history. Continue reading

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The Parson

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Parson.

The Parson | www.johnkreft.com

It’s a fly I found in a fly box someone gave me several years ago. It’s an interesting fly and perhaps I’ll get around to tying my own version someday. 

Here is an excerpt from A Book on Angling by Francis Francis, the first edition published in 1867 about The Parson.

“The Parson. This is a very showy fly, and is used chiefly on the Erne, but it is a capital fly anywhere where a showy fly is required. It is on the Erne rather a generic name for a series of flies than for any special one, as we have there, green parsons, and blue parsons, and golden parsons, and so on. The parson being merely significant of plenty of toppings in the wing.”

Enjoy…go fish!

 

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The Baker

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is called The Baker. It’s another Atlantic Salmon fly I pulled out of an older box, the same box as The Kate and Rosy Dawn.

Baker | www.johnkreft.com

The Baker is one of the oldest classic Atlantic Salmon fly patterns. As I’m learning with my brief history research on these flies, several well-known tyers had slightly different variations. These include Francis Francis and Kelson to name a couple. And the fly in the picture is a slightly different variation from the fly dressings I found. Continue reading

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The Kate

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is called The Kate.

Kate | www.johnkreft.com

It’s another Atlantic Salmon fly from an old fly box I ended up with. The Kate is credited to Mrs. Courtney, who developed the fly in the middle of the 19th century…yes, that long ago! One of the few flies credited to a woman fly tyer. The fly was a favorite on the Tweed River in Scotland. And Geo. M. Kelson stated in his book The Salmon Fly below the fly pattern sheet “one of the best flies on the Tyne.” Continue reading

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Tying Flies with Purpose

In the last week, I’ve been tying flies with purpose. Remember a recent post – Back to Tying Flies? Well that’s what I’ve been doing…tying flies. It’s the time of year when the weather has changed and so has the fishing. In fact, as I write this week’s post, it’s snowing!!! And the forecast calls for a high of 26 tomorrow with a low of 6. Brrrr!

Most of the time I tie trout flies, but the last week several steelhead flies have been tied at the vise. One was the Green Ant and it ended up as a Throw Back Thursday Fly. Here is a slightly “blinged-up” version by adding a tag and ribbing.

Green Ant - Ribbed | www.johnkreft.com

The other steelhead fly is a Purple Skunk…a cross between the Purple Peril and the Green Butt Skunk.

Purple Skunk | www.johnkreft.com

Continue reading

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