Vintage 1970s Oregon Flies

Jay Nicholas Vintge 1970s Oregon Trout Flies.JPG

I met a young man, Adam, a few weeks ago in Eugene. He had purchased one of my books, Super Flies ~ Color, nearly a year ago, and he asked if we could find a way to have me personalize it for him. Of course. He mentioned that he was starting to tie flies and that he had a box of “old flies” that his fiancé inherited from her grandfather.

We talked a while, I suggested that he bring his book and the flies down to the Fly Shop, and promised that I would personalize his book and would appreciate being able to look at his collection of 1970s flies.

Well here we are. A very nostalgic collection of rusty hook, some bug-eaten, fishing flies. These are all patterns that I tied back in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly for Doughton Hardware in Salem, Oregon, for Wayne Doughton.

Thank you, Adam, for sharing these flies with me.

Jay Nicholas Vintge 1970s Oregon Steelhead Flies.JPG

May you all enjoy this view into the past, and remember that these flies would all fish well today, if given half a chance and a good soaking in the rivers and lakes we fish nowadays.

Jay Nicholas, May 7th, 2016

4 thoughts on “Vintage 1970s Oregon Flies

  1. Jay, fun to hear Wayne’s name after so many years. My dad and I had a 3 month (once a week) evening fly tying class at a Junior High in Salem, taught by Wayne. This must have been 1974 or so. Learned so much, still tying. One of those summer’s, dad and I both landed N. Santiam Steelhead using a Spruce fly that Wayne instructed us on. A lot of those flies in your picture look like his Sea Run Cutthroat flies. Thanks for mentioning Wayne, Doughton’s hardware was the best, like a museum.

  2. Thanks so much for posting these, Jay. Of course it was my pleasure to meet you in person after watching your videos and reading your blog so captively since fly fishing got into my blood last year. I’m especially impressed with your philosophical ramblings and the human side of your writing- it reminds me that we are all in this crazy life together, and that there is much more to it than just the tug. Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

  3. What a great trip into the past! I remember Wayne, who had the skills to sell coal to people in hell, his assistant Omar(?) Coffel, the hundred-year-old Golden Retreiver limping around the store, and Wayne’s ancient mother who kept an eagle eye on every young person who entered the store, following two steps behind as they browsed.

    I remember Wayne’s mantra, “No, no. What YOU want is….” That’s how I got into fly fishing about 1966. I went in to buy a recurve bow and two “No, no, what YOU want”s later came out with a Heddon fly rod and Heddon reel loaded with a fly line. I paid maybe 15 bucks for it all, and still have the reel. I also had a little paper bag with maybe a dozen flies, including several black gnat wets. I caught a lot of stream trout on those gnats, and released them all. I wasn’t an ahead-of-my-time conservationist though. I was raised Catholic and by the time I was 18 I was so damned sick of fish…..

    Thanks for the memories Jay.

  4. Jay, you’ve made me just realize that 1970 was over 50 years ago! I remember being a kid in the 50’s and thinking that 30 years old would make me “a really old man … but that it would NEVER get here”. So be it.
    Now I’m 65 with comparable ailments and aches. Relegating me to a shadow of my previous being. But those 70’s flies remain alive in fly boxes that travel with me and I successfully fish today. Some are in better shape than me, some worse, others brand new never being wet. But they’re all still here with me sharing room with the synthetic, UV insects and baitfish of this age. I never realized that they are some 50 years old until I just read your post.
    Thankfully Western New York Great Lakes fish don’t put a “use by” date on their food. So I can as you say, confirm that given a chance they’ll fish well. They do indeed.
    Thanks and Best wishes.

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