Schweizer Fliegen – Mouches Suisses – Swiss Flies

Famous Swiss fly tiers: Charles Bickel

Charles Bickel


Charles Bickel (1891- 1945) fishing the Orbe river in Vallorbe, Switzerland


"Mouches de Vallorbe" - the first and biggest fly tying atelier in Switzerland. Leaving his job as a worker in the metal industry, Charles Bickel opened about 1920 in Vallorbe (Swiss Jura ) a small fly making factory, with mostly women as fly tyers. He experimented with new materials and new tying procedures. Being himself a flyfisherman, Bickel developed many flies, true innovations- which were, in contrast to many new flies, not only nice, but also catching (lots of) fish. Different "Mouches de Vallorbe" including the famous CDC Bickel were sold from Vallorbe to the shops in Switzerland. After his early death in 1945, the business was initially continued by his widow and from 1960 it was taken over by the local resident Michel Fontannz. In the 1990s, operations had to be discontinued for cost reasons.

On 24th of march 2013, Swissflies bought the whole collection, including hundreds of patterns (description and example flies) and all rights from the last owner.

We will present here for the interested fly tier all these swiss historic flies, page by page, images and detailed descriptions of the fly patterns developed 1918- 1945 by Charles Bickel - as soon as we have electronically scanned them. All beautiful and successful patterns- you may try to remake them - they catch after nearly 100 years as good as they ever did.

On the other hand, any commercial remake is forbidden without the written permission of Swissflies, the holder of all rights of "Mouches de Vallorbe".

For our customers, we will remake the most successful patterns with as far as possible the original materials, but on barbless hooks.


Collection Mouches de Vallorbe

The Mouches de Vallorbe collection Click here to enlarge

The Mouches de Vallorbe collection consists of one pattern book containing the early flies, one federal folder filled with later patterns and special flies. There's also a collection of fly plates, which were used for presenting the flies to the shop owners, and as reference in the flyshops.

Thousands of fly patterns were developed from 1918 onwards with a variety of materials, carefully tied and individually sewn piece by piece on the pages of the book and the a federal folder. Most flies were described in detail, thereby naming the threads and feathers used.


The following patterns are already published:Winged flies 1923 No. 151-198 - Mouches anglaises 1924 No. 301-324 - Mayflies 1925 - Mouches de Genève 1927 - Mouches plumes perdrix (partridge flies)1928- Mouches de Lucerne 1929

Please note that all pattern descriptions in the collection are in french- please use our Translation help of french fly tying terms

Coming soon: more fly patterns from Mouches de Vallorbe (we have more than 3000 further unpublished historic fly patterns- a lot of work to do).


Phoenix Silk Line

Fish a classic fly with a classic line Phoenix silk fly line

Swiss Flies is a non- profit company. All profits will be used for the benefit of our fly fishing. by financing projects and political work to save our beautiful rivers and creeks. We further invest in the purchase and preservation of historic Swiss flies. Only in this way, and if talented fly tiers of today tie and fish the successful patterns of yesterday, this unique cultural heritage can be preserved from destruction and oblivion.

If you could profit from the images and descriptions of the historic flies, and if you would like to support this idea, any donation is welcome and we will thank you for that.



Copyright Swissflies - Swiss historical flies. All rights of "Mouche De Vallorbe" are in the possession of Swissflies.
Any commercial remake, the use of names and pictures is forbidden without the written permission of Swissflies.


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Copyright Swissflies - Swiss historical flies. Any commercial use of texts, pictures, names or remake of the flies presented herein is forbidden without the written permission of Swissflies, the holder of all rights.

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