Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Great Grandfather's Flies: Part 1

        A few years ago I acquired my father's Grandfather's tackle box.  He also had a bamboo fly rod and old automatic fly reel my dad still has somewhere in storage. What is interesting is the flies he had. There was a lot of soft plastic flies in there. I had the idea in my head flies are feathers tied to hooks. There are plenty of guys out there who would agree with this and shun other material let alone--gasp--live bait. But I know from reading Hemingway live grasshoppers and crickets were common fly fishing baits so the idea of plastic flies make a little more sense to me now. If you have more information on what they are or where they might be from please let me know in the comments.


These hoppers look pretty close to the real thing. 


I can see a crappie or blue gill sucking this guy up. 


Black Winged Ant


White Winged ant With Red Head


With the size of the hook, I'd say this guy was for bass. 

          I don't have many of these treasures in my possession. I never got to meet my great grandfather so this is all I have of him. These lures give me a greater appreciation for fly fishing and make me want to learn more about it. There are purists out there younger than these lures who claim they are not flies and using them is not fly fishing. I say if it is on a fly rod it is fly fishing. If it makes you mad hearing that I suggest you get off the internet, grab your gear, go fishing, and come back when you are calmed down. 

Thanks for reading,

Read Part II Here:

Read about the other stuff in the tackle box here:


  1. Very interesting, Daniel. Thanks for sharing. You know back when I first started fly fishing, it was fairly common to find plastic flies sold in tackle shops. Granted, not as many of them as the bins with all the feathers and fur type. I can remember fishing a plastic mayfly nymph on one of Colorado's most famous rivers back then and catching some Brown Trout. I am sure that will make many look down their noses these days. Just a note: I am seeing some plastic Mr. Twister like jig tails showing up on fly patterns tied with feather and fur these days. If it is legal and you are fishing it and catching fish, and, enjoying your experience, isn't that what really matters.

    1. Exactly. I love how cyclical it is. The sport is ever-changing and evolving. I love it when the old becomes new again. It is evident in a lot of the "new" bass top water baits coming out these days.

  2. They say that what goes around, comes around.
    Take a look at this:
    It seems to be coming around.

    1. I am glad. There is more than one way to skin a cat. That is a neat looking fly. I bet the plastic helps it float without floatant.

  3. I recently found a soft plastic craw fly at a local fly shop. I was weirded out because I thought the same as you, fur and feathers. I am by no means a purist so I pounced all over that craw!

    1. Let me know how it does. Smallmouth are fun on the fly.

  4. Those are some really cool flies. I have seen flies similar to these with soft plastic, and flies with other things on them - rattles, propellers, plastic lips (like lures), twisty tails, and other things you would find on regular lures. I'm not a purist either, and I think if can cast it with my fly rod, then it's still fly fishing.

    1. Agreed. That might make a good blog, Swinging Plastic Flies.


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