Won an auction in the UK [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Won an auction in the UK

07-14-2003, 06:34 PM
Sorry, had a problem with taking picture in the wheatley box for some reason, so image came out dark. But took a couple closeups. Nice box, and nice flies. Supposed to be a box of an older gentleman who passed away. Some flies are older, some are newer. Had a nice bit of correspondance with the seller of auction. Learned alot about the box and it's history and the owner's history as well. Didn't say any of these were tied in the 1800's, but he did say some of them were tied by the fisherman back in the 60's and later (some possibly earlier then that). He didn't have alot of exact dates, but said that he knew he had to stop fishing about 15 years ago due to an ailment. So all flies are at least that old, if not older. I bid on the auction for the box (was about $30 including shipping to US), but now with the history am gonna put the flies on display. Some nice ties, and I like that you can tell they were well used.

http://www.steelheader.net/photopost/data/500/243DSC01819-med.JPG http://www.steelheader.net/photopost/data/500/243DSC01823-med.JPG http://www.steelheader.net/photopost/data/500/243DSC01825-med.JPG http://www.steelheader.net/photopost/data/500/243DSC01824-med.JPG http://www.steelheader.net/photopost/data/500/243DSC01826-med.JPG

Thought I'd do the full and exploded version of the tube fly. Never seen one put together like this. Both the tubes had a steel leader to the hook and a barrel swivel on the end. Both had buffer beads in middle for tube fly to sit on. One (like this one) had lead wire wrapped around wire shaft. The other had metal tubes on the shaft. Pretty cool idea. Just thought I'd share these with you.

07-14-2003, 07:28 PM
Thanks! Wonderful, interesting flies. Would love to see individual photos of some of the other flies.

07-14-2003, 08:32 PM
If you guys want to see more, can do that no problem. Found another interesting fly. It has THREE single hooks tied in unison. Each facing opposite direction. Didn't notice until I unloaded the box. I almost wanted to keep them in the box, but I bought it to use. So put them in a leather wallet I have that I don't use and put them on my fly tying desk. But, will go through and take a picture of a few more for you all.

07-14-2003, 11:24 PM
Thanks for posting shots of those flies - the metal eyes would indicate that they were tied in the last centuary, prior to this every fly had a gut eye. The dyed blue guinea on the front of the Thunder&Lightening waddington(2nd photo) would probibaly suggest a dating of after 1960, as before this the original blue jay was used in most flies that called for it.

07-15-2003, 01:16 AM
I meant 1960's, not 1860's. Actually I did a more indepth post on the NW fishing site I mod the flyfishing area. I let everyone know that since these had metal eyes they were made in the 20th century. But like I said, person I bought them from said they were tied from about the 1960's to present. But nice flies nonetheless. I was give QUITE the tutorial about what makes a classic Atlantic Salmon fly by a few guys in the UK. So got it pretty down pat now. :D

07-15-2003, 10:26 AM
At least two of the flys shown are "Willie Gunn's;" but the first one has what appears to be a bit of toothpick or sum such in front. Is that actually part of the tie? The second one also appears to be tied in a tube configuration; correct?

07-15-2003, 10:32 AM
Really Very Nice!...great find.

07-15-2003, 10:47 AM
Hi congratulations on this treasure.
One tip: when displaying them, beware of bugs, they love flies, especially older ones....

Willie Gunn
07-15-2003, 10:56 AM
I think the tooth pick or piece of match is to hold the nylon attached to the treble to stop the fly falling off. Definately not part of the dressing, just a clever way of holding the fly in the box.

The other one looks like a devon minnow mount with that much lead byou could almost cast it on a fixed spool reel. A real cast and duck set up. Possibly for the Tweed in Autumn.

07-15-2003, 11:27 AM
Like the man said, he did the "full" and the "exploded" view of the fly!

My translation was that "exploded" view, the piece with bead and treble is the "removeable core", and that goes inside the "sleeve" (the external piece with the hair tied to it.

With both pieces assembled ("full"), that is the pic with the splinter of wood holding the core/sleeve together.

Sheesh! C'mon, guys, get with the program!:hehe:


PS - Nice collection, Steelheader! You did GOOD!

07-15-2003, 12:22 PM
But assuming the hook/wire body/lead wrap/etc., was all for a center core for sliding on a tube fly, what a heck of an ingenious idea. You could tie a smaller-more compact- fly and still adjust the weight of the thing by changing the center "module."


07-15-2003, 01:15 PM
Clever people, those orientals! (Or was that a Scot???):devil:


07-15-2003, 03:03 PM
Yes, those two pics are the same fly. I myself thought it was ingenious. There were two tubes like this. Other had lead tubes instead of wrapped lead thread. The top hook is a waddington shank.

But, to give you exact details on the tube. What he did was used steel wire for the body. He strung it through the barrel swivel, the bead, and then the treble hook. He wrapped the lead wire around the bottom and top of the bead. Then, simply slide the tube over the barrel and away you go. Yes, the toothpick is there to keep the assembly together while in storage in the flybox. I agree, VERY cool idea. Makes change up really easy, and weights them down. Simply change the way you make your assemblies to make them weighted vs. unweighted.

Yeah, it already looks like either some have been torn by fish or moths have got to them. Probably a mixture. I do like that you can tell most of these have been fished. The wings have that wetted down appearance having been swung a few times.

But the rest of you, REREAD it!!!!!!!!!! :hehe:

07-16-2003, 04:52 AM
An interesting set of flies there, SH69; you've got a good selection of different styles.

I've seen Waddingtons with the treble hook dressed in EXACTLY the same style as yours - might even say from the same tier. Definitely from the 1960's. Pretty sure the long black feather is heron.

I think the the tube fly is a 'Parker' fly. I have a couple of these in their original packaging, but not with me, so I'm working from memory here. I'm fairly sure they were sold by Sharpes of Aberdeen who were in their day arguably the best makers of cane rods d/h rods, and in particular those with spliced rather than conventional ferrule joints. These Parker flies are tied on large-bore tubes of coloured hard plastic, and were available with both weighted and unweighted mounts. As Malcolm says, the design of mount closely resembles those used on devon minnows. I think that it was developed to avoid the problem of the tube chafing the leader, and possibly also to ensure the hook stayed in line, but it also allows a fly to carry extra weight if needed (as in this instance). Modern lined tubes have eliminated the problem of chafing, so the Parker fly became redundant, if indeed it ever took off commercially! A nice little piece of history, again almost certainly from the 1960's.

Not quite clear about your description of the fly with three hooks - is it the blackish fly at the right hand end of the middle row of the left side of the box in your picture? If so that looks like a 'tandem' rig, which was quite often used for sea trout. These have either two or three hooks mounted astern, often with the second hook pointing upwards. You also have a couple of 'Worm Flies' in the box which were frequently tied on this rig.

Post any further questions here and I'll see if I can help with pattern identification etc.

PS, Fred, sorry to say it's not a Willie Gunn. Don't remember the date that fly was first tied, but it certainly wasn't popularised until somewhat later than the '60's. Also I think this fly lacks the orange hair of the true WG. I think it would probably have been sold as a 'Tosh'.

07-16-2003, 08:25 AM
keep the photos coming - great stuff for us pattern addicts.
appreciate the efforts

07-16-2003, 04:54 PM
You pretty much discribed the fly I was talking about. Gonna see if I can get some more posted for you. Looks like the seller was very honest on his flies then. I've actually been corresponding with him. Really nice guy and glad that the flies went to someone who appreciates them. Think I have the pics downloaded on the computer, will see if I can get them posted for you all to see.

07-16-2003, 05:20 PM
Have no idea on names, just posting pics

Enough??? :D

07-16-2003, 08:22 PM
Absolutely exquisite jewels. Thank you for sharing them with us.


Willie Gunn
07-17-2003, 02:49 AM
Hi Steelheader 69,
Not sure of the 1st one but the second is a Peter Ross the 3rd a Butcher (trad trout flies) and the last one looks like a well chewed Munro Killer.
Charles(Gardener) wiil probably keep us right.


G Ritchie
07-17-2003, 05:30 AM

The first fly is a black terror and the last fly is actually a well chewed Garry Dog.

Graham Ritchie

07-17-2003, 05:44 AM
SH69, looking at the 'well chewed Garry Dog', and also the Silver Doctor which looks a bit nibbled, I'd reiterate Dutch's warning to be sure to quarantine these flies well. Having suffered moths in fly boxes and fly tying kit myself, you can only imagine the problems they cause; they have an unerring eye for fully-dressed flies and your best capes!

What's more, if they get out and start on clothing, any womenfolk around will ensure that your life isn't worth living!

07-18-2003, 12:52 AM

Like others have already said, I can't emphasize how important it is to keep the bugs from these flies is a display. I have a very good friend in Port Angeles who had gotten 4 very large glass framed (they were the size of windows) fly mounted fly sets from an elderly gent from Sequim about 12 years ago. All of the flies (except for the Glasso speys and Pray's Optics) were tied by Harry Lemire and were the flies used in the plates in Trey Combs' 2nd book "Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies". Trey had given them to the old gent because the old guy had a small fly shop in Sequim and Trey bought a lot of things from him over the years.

Any how, my friend didn't make sure that they were bug proofed and you guessed it! The bugs got into the frames and destroyed one of the true historical treasures of steelhead fly tying during the 4 years my friend kept them stored in the attic. He was heartsick about the destruction of these flies.

07-18-2003, 01:09 AM
I've heard the horror stories. I don't know if I'm gonna frame them or not. Probably do a shadowbox. But will make sure it's sealed up well (I'll caulk thing if I have to LOL ).

Yeah, I know a friend who had a bunch of Glasso flies. Guess he went to school where he taught (didn't know Glasso was a teacher). Guess he deposited a couple dozen flies on the streamfloor. Now is ticked. He lost the last few only a couple years ago. But he's only an occasional fisherman, so never reads magazines. Once I informed him what he has lost, looked like he turned ghost white.

I haven't decided exactly what to do yet with the flies. I bought the auction for the wheatley box (it's the perfect pocket size that holds salmon flies). Then come to find out I got this added bonus of flies, and luckily the seller gave me the whole tutorial story on the flies.