The old school way of fishing is probably the best

Just looking through the myriad of catalogs that arrive in the mail every year from all of the fishing tackle companies makes you almost want to scrap all your gear and run to the stores and buy all new stuff (notice that I said almost).

If you have spent a considerable number of years engrossed in this hobby of fishing, you will have been witness to even more of these changes.

Jay Blue

No matter what type of fishing you may prefer, there are always vast changes and supposedly better ways to do things. Some of these changes are actually improvements in the sport and some probably need to go back and spend more time on the drawing board.

Often these newfangled things catch more fishermen than they do fish. There was a new bass plug that came out back in the ’70s that had a compartment on top of it in which to place an Alka-Seltzer tablet, so when it landed in the water the “fizzing action” was said to attract all the bass in the neighborhood.

I don’t think it caught many fish but I’m sure it caught a lot of fishermen.

I have always been a fan of the “old school” way of doing things. It is difficult for me to change my habits. I really don’t like change. When I find a good way of doing something, I stick with it.

For example, I rake leaves and refuse to use a leaf blower. I still fish with the same fly rod and reel that I’ve used for thirty years. I still carry a comb in my pocket even though one would be hard-pressed to find any hair on top of my head. (It may start growing again, you never know.)


This “old school” way of thinking was what led me to tie the flies that you see in these photos. They are wet flies that are described in a book by Ray Bergman called “Trout” that he wrote way back in 1938.

There are 435 of them featured in his book and I have thoroughly enjoyed tying the whole collection and mounting them in shadow box frames to be hung on the wall.

In 1938, when this book was written, wet flies were very much in vogue but over the years most of them have fallen out of favor with trout fishers primarily because of the constant changes that have evolved in the fly fishing world.

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