This winter, during the fishing off-season, I decided to tie up some old fashion classic bucktails. As I was tying, Pat (my wife) walked in and asked what I was tying. I told her a Warden’s Worry and some other old-time classic bucktails that were seldom used anymore because they were replaced by modern pattern. “Why aren’t they good anymore?” Pat asked. That question made me stop and think because I didn’t have an immediate answer.

My first thought was that the new patterns are better because of new materials and tying techniques. My second though was I might be comparing apples and oranges, that is comparing nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth century flyfishing, with the twenty-first century.

My final thought was that the absence of bucktails, and especially winged-wet-flies, from fly boxes is not because they stopped catching fish but because, like bamboo rods and fedoras, they simply went out of fashion.

Flies listed from upper left to right and down;

Mickey Finn * Black Nose Dace

Millers River Special * Black Ghost * Special K

Wardens Worry * Royal Coachman * Squirrel Tail

Edson Tiger Light * Edson Tiger Dark