Published Apr 11. 2020 - 6 months ago
Updated or edited Apr 14. 2020

John Olin Special

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Regal Vise
Shor Fishing

Martin Joergensen


”John Olin” ... and Special?...

In Scandinavia, at least for decades, we call this pattern ... not special ... but just simple ”Black & Gold”

Martin Joergensen's picture

Generic indeed...


I will admit that this fly isn't exactly something new and unseen, but to claim that a fly is similar - or at least hint that it's not original - because it uses a common color scheme or known shape - might be going too far. There are many hair winged Danish sea trout and salmon flies with tones of black and gold, but none named "Black & Gold" as far as I know.

I have personally never heard of the "Black & Gold" anywhere in Scandinavia... or elsewhere for that matter. I can find many patterns named "Black & ..." (Silver, Blue, Orange, Teal and many more), but no Black & Gold in my many books or online.

Do you know who originated the "Black & Gold" or which country it comes from?


Dear Martin, I do not want...

Dear Martin, I do not want you to feel offended by what I have to say in response to your intervention.

Just because Black&Gold as a name does not exist in your collection of books, it does not mean that the fly with this name does not exist. In 1999, towards the end of the year, through November or December, I was filling my fly boxes and discussing on telephon with a number of felows fly fishermens about new or old models for salmon and sea trout. From Norway I received then the description of the simply Black&Gold fly pathern (described simply... gold body and oval gold ribbing, black wing and black hackle) from an old man (around 85 yers then), which is said to be an excellent pathern for evening and night fishing in sizes from 7-15cm wings tubes flies for salmon, to simple/duble hooks of # 2-10 for sea runs, in the Sognefjorden area. The man was using the fly from around 1970s, and both him self and his locals fishing friends was fishing with this Black&Gold. Now because I do not have the pretention that I know evrithing about salmon flies, but I have been fishing, reading and tieing flies for salmon and sea trout for more then 30 years, I have met many local fishermen both in Norway, Finland and Sweden. How many simple flies did I see that not have fancy names from the books???, ... I dont know, but probably thousands. Among them there were somethime different variants of this Black & Gold which, because of the simplicity of construction and the „combination of colors”, was not something to write a book about. Not all fishermen consider that they have invented a new fly just becouse they fish and catch salmons with it. I'm sorry but that's the truth. Simply flies patherns have many, many names ... or not. And belive me that my forst reaction was genuin with now intention to offend someone.

PS – Black&Gold have a syster fly Black&Silver becouse it is just a silver body and black wing with black hackel, ...just for the record. :) I do not know if you have heard the expression in response to the question of what fly to use on a certain salmon river "Whatever you want only if it's black". I will tie some examples of what gave me many salmons and sea trouts for many years in several Scandinavian rivers and I have them under the name Black & Gold. You will receive them as a gift by mail.

Martin Joergensen's picture



I was not offended at all! And I do realize that there are only very few new fly patterns under the sun, and if you tie anything in common colors or shapes, you are almost bound to create something that has bee done by others before. Salmon fly patterns in black and gold are probably counted in the hundreds, and coming up with something new in that realm is as good as impossible.

I wouldn't put much emphasis on neither the name nor the "special" in it, but just enjoy Steve's excellent tying skills and the inspiration it gives.

When it comes to books I can find plenty "Black & 'something'" patterns, but just not a Black & Gold, which doesn't mean that such a fly doesn't exist, but just that it might not be a commonly known or traditional pattern.

Thanks for the story about your own experiences with the fly - and as I said: no offense taken!



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