If you read the previous post, you now know that fly fishing started in Greece and that I was serendipitously due for a visit to see my fiance’s family there! In anticipation of this trip, I did some research on fly fishing in Greece and found Tolis, one of the few fly fishermen in the country (and the only one with a website!).
I arranged a time to meet with Tolis (that is him on the left) over coffee in his home town of Larisa, near the base of Mt. Olympus. Tolis is part of the one and only fly fishing club in Greece with only about 30 members, yet his passion is big enough to fill the country. Traditionally, Greeks gravitate towards the beaches and prefer pastimes like soccer, but he prefers the mountains, trout and fly tying. We naturally got along and joked around about why we love this crazy hobby.
Over coffee I asked Tolis if he knew about the “first fly” Aelian wrote about in the year 200 A.D. Of course he had heard of this “first fly” and luckily for me, Tolis runs a side business tying intricate flies, called Smart-Flies, and offered to recreate Aelian’s fly for us to fish with! Needless to say, we quickly set a date to go fishing with our recreated “first flies” in the beautiful mountain rivers of Greece.
The text Tolis used to work off of to recreate this fly is ancient and a bit unclear. The fly is depicted as using red or yellow wool, but there is some debate regarding the Ancient Greek translation so there is a possibility the original color may have been different. The fly then was described to have 2 chicken feathers tied on it to replicate wings. The simplicity of the fly made this an easy tie for Tolis. We were excited to test it out on the water and pay homage to the forgotten first fly fisherman in Greece!
In the next blog post, I will talk about my adventure with Tolis in the Greek mountains, where we used these original flies. Be sure to check out the next post to learn if we actually caught any fish!
These flies are now available to purchase HERE on our site but we have a limited batch! We are selling a kit in size 10 and 14 so you can take a few casts with a simple fly and get back to the roots of this technique. It’s a great collector’s item and a unique gift for that fly fisher in your life!
γεια σας! (cheers for now!)