There is quite a difference in the flies, which were selected as the same or very similar patterns.

The only ones with recipes were Webster’s and Reid’s. These show  bigger differences, for example the set of the wings and body length, although the body length may be because of the difference in the hooks.  The differences in the 1880 and 1910 flies may well be due to different dressers, 1880 wings at 45 deg, the 1910 upright, and the hackle on the 1880, tied behind the wing, the 1910, tied in front.

  When compared with the Tweed pictures the bodies don’t seem very different.


It may be that the more extreme specifications for the Clyde flies was a later 20th century development.

Although Webster’s flies are sparse by anybodies standards.


I have no doubt that there were many different opinions in 1880 as there are now. These flies came from a people and generation who regarded ‘being opinionated’, a compliment.  



Illustrations of Clyde and Tweed Flies of various periods.

They have all been dated, three are photographs and Webster’s is a water colour, from the 1885 book.

The first (1880) is from a collection photographed, in colour  in the 1960s.

The third was photographed in b/w before 1910.

The fourth was photographed in colour (poorly) in the 1960s or 70s.