Major Historical FF Discovery ! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Major Historical FF Discovery !

02-16-2003, 02:07 PM
in my garage !

I knew my wife moved my library of fly fishing magazines to the garage a year or two ago. I found one of the locations several months ago, which filled a whole shelf of a book case we have in the garage.

Well yesterday I found the remainder in a large storage box filled with old FF magazines back to the 1970s so far.

Some great articles in them by: Bill Macmillan, Trey Coombs. Frank Amato, Les Johnson, Lee Wulff, Ralph Cutter, etc...

God I love that women, they could have gone in one of her garage sales or worse the garbage.

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02-16-2003, 07:40 PM
Hi PM, I have in my library a book by George Herter, "Professional Fly Tying and Tackle Making." Copyrighted 1949. Maybe you have one seeing you are in the midwest. My copy is well worn as I have used it since I bought it in 1949. If you don't have it, look for it it has a great chapter on "insects fish feed on". I see in Cabela's latest catalog, that a store is going to open in Beaver Dam, Wisc. Hope they republish that book, it is the best book I have, and I am sure it would be a good seller. I also have Joe Brooks book "Fly Fishing.":)

02-16-2003, 08:05 PM

Nothing like the good old fly fishing historical books, its amazing how much very technical articles and books were written decades ago which still apply today.

Feel sorry for these new age cyber anglers that think they can find everything on the internet that they need to know.

I had AJ McClanes - Fishing Enclyopedia but cannot find it now. After 3 major moves in 26 years of marriage and numerous wife garage sales it may have been lost. There are still some boxes in our crawl space though it may be in. :D

There is a Joe Brooks book that I cannot find also. Great little book on how to fish a large amount of NA game fish. I know its here I just have to find it !

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02-16-2003, 08:13 PM
Fishing has not changed since it's inception. Only the tackle has.

Fish still hold in the same H2O now as yhey did 500 years ago, still eat the same things and react the same way to their surrondings.

Amazing concept eh?

Learned all of that not from a book or computer, but from time spent chasing them.

02-16-2003, 10:31 PM

Herter's book is what I learned how to tie flies from. It was written in Geroge Herter's inimitable style wit all the irreverance he was known for. It is full of good, solid information about fly tying techniques, insects, leader formula, fly line information, and a pretty good fly pattern dictionary though. I have a 1961 edition.

02-16-2003, 11:58 PM
Classic? Bergman's "Trout" is it. (Finally got a copy of my own.) I owned many of his books, and he is a superb author, and for ALL species of fish and methods to fish for them. Takes me back to those simpler days, and reading his books are like a chat with an old friend. (By the way, his older techniques and patterns still work well, too!) Seeing references to "HCH and HDH" lines, the old midday ritual of drying and redressing lines, and soaking leaders also lets me remember the chores we used to put up with. It's a good reminder of how easy we have it now!


02-17-2003, 09:34 AM
Hal..Just as an aside on the historical thing ..I just lost an auction on ebay which killed me... the thing went for $25!!!! It was 300 plus pages handwritten diary journal from 1901 of a fisherman hunter up in Maine... Author unknown... but one of the pages indicated that it was not written disjointed but in flowing sentences and in one entry He was fishing with a guy maned Perkins..maybe the Orvis founder.... Bueatifully described stalking of trout... Whoever bought it will probably publish it I bet.. (Which I had been thinking:devil: )

02-17-2003, 10:01 AM
Bob K

Oh yes HDH, HCH lines I remember them well and dressing the lines, etc....

The good old days of trout fishing


Bummer on losing the bid on that historical document.

PM Out

P.S. I found some more great old articles in those magazines last night. Might use them for my FF trivia thread. :whoa:

02-17-2003, 10:46 AM
Hey, Hal,

In order to reduce the amount of storage required, I find myself taking the magazines apart, clipping the good articles, and trashing the "junk". I "3-hole punch them", and file in binders, sorting them by year. I do the same with my magazine articles, - maybe my grandchildren will want to read "what grandpa wrote". Impresses hell out of my old HS buddies, too.

The rest I just trash. Sure cuts down on storage!

Just a thought. Don't be accused of being a packrat!

(My flyboxes are now refilled, and I also have backups stored! This cold weather and being snowbound was good for something!


02-17-2003, 11:08 AM

Good idea, except I will not have time to do that until I am RETIRED like you.

My fly boxes are also bulging I have way too many flies and I am still tying. Go figure !!

I cherish my old fly fishing books and magazines. Read a great biography on A.J. McClane. Did you know he functioned as a CIA spy while he was the Field & Stream International Angling editor in the 40s and 50s ?

Its true, he was a decorated army veteran at Normandy, became friends with Army General Bedell Smith, they became fishing buddies. Bedell Smith became the first head of the CIA in the 50s and used Al for information when he came back from international angling assignments for Field & Stream.

I wish I had all of the Field & Stream, Out door Lifes and Sports Afields from my teenage years but they are gone. Mom cleaned them out when I was in the USAF for 4 years or perhaps my brother has them and is not telling me about them ? He also got my rifles, non FF fishing equipment, and my car when I went in the service for FREE!! At least he did not get my girl friend ,some sailor got her, best thing that ever happened to me BTW.

I was into hunting and trapping back then, yes I was a real NJ outdoors guy, hard to beleive isn't it ?


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02-17-2003, 08:34 PM
Looked a little in my library today seeing we are in the middle of a snowstorm, 9PM and we got about 15 inches on the ground, and it is still snowing. I found a Herter's catalog with lots of good stuff cheap, still have some kicking around like b undled peacock fibers, 1 oz. for .83 cents. I still have some left.:D Spring, and summer 1973. Art Flick's Streamside guide , 1969. Match the Hatch by Ernest Schwiebert fourth edition 1969, The Complete Fly Tier,1950, the first edition was 1936. Fly Fishing by Joe Brooks, 1958. Flies, by J. Edson Leonard Paperback Edition 1982, autographed to me by the author whom I know very well. Some of these fairly old books have a lot of useful information in them.:)

02-20-2003, 09:04 AM
There are a lot of very good methods that are not in common use today, and they are good just to fall back on when those "bad days" or certain conditions strike us.

Just look at the earliest form of flyfishing, or "dapping". It consists of nothing more than extending the rod over the water, and dangling a fly down, bouncing it so that it just barely touches the water. Of course, a very stealthy approach is required, usually hands-and-knees, and a somewhat high bank (it helps the fish's sense of security if it is undercut, too!) to help in the delivery.

Big, fat, huge trout that are VERY leader shy and virtually uncatchable with usual methods can be counted on to smash flies presented this way with a vengeance! With virtually no leader on the surface, that's not a problem. I have used this technique on occasion and under the right onditions with great success.

And there are other techniques, all to numerous to mention, but effective in their own right! Yet the average fisherman isn't even aware of them.

So read the old books, and absorb all that you can. It really can pay dividends.


02-20-2003, 09:16 AM
I found several nuggets of historical fly fishing gold
in my old magazines already. Oldies but goodies, flies, tactics,
L. Wulff trivia:D , fly fishing quotes:D, etc.......

PM Out

02-20-2003, 11:43 AM
Perhaps you can give them to the national archives.

02-20-2003, 01:13 PM
We used to have an old lady living next door to us when I was a kid, a real packrat. My mom offered me to help her move something or other in her cellar - and I was amazed! It was packed from floor to ceiling with old newspapers and magazines, too! You had to get around in "corridors" she had there between the piles.

About a year later, there was a fire, and the house burned out of control. Almost caught our house, and the neighbors on the other side, too! The fire dept. could only contain it to her house, but the darned thing still kept reigniting for another couple of days, and the poor firemen were virtually camped out there. Stunk badly, too, until they got the mess cleaned up!

So, I guess there is a moral here, someplace. Maybe Hal can figure it out for us, as I think he must be at least a 6th grade graduate.


02-20-2003, 03:35 PM
I am going to give it to my beloved fly fishing forumn colleagues, a little bit at a time.


God I love you guys !!

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02-20-2003, 05:41 PM
I'm glad you're a good sport, and realize we are only "jerking your chain". You're an allright guy! Hope to get to fish together someday, maybe share a drink or two, as well, and "swap lies". I also think the fun of fishing, hunting and camping that carries on from boys to men is to escape civilization and parents/spouses to cuss, drink some, smoke cigars, tell "man-stories", and only wash "when you need it".

By the way, there are a lot of jewels hidden away in many of those old books, and rediscovering them is always a joy.


02-20-2003, 06:41 PM
I'm touched, I think I am going to cry, and all along I thought you fellows were trying to run me out of here into cyber fly fishing limbo.


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02-20-2003, 07:18 PM
Thats okay, have a collection of old unread magazines myself.

02-20-2003, 09:34 PM
I was asked once by an English lit prof when taking "Major British Writers" how it was possible that I had read so many classics in the past, at my age. The answer astounded him - when we were aboard troop ships, and they announced a supply of pocket books were available at "Hatch No. 3", I was always late getting there. All the good "sex-manuals" were long gone, and I was stuck with the leftovers. Such trash as The Unabridged Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare (Wow - that was nasty - even learned a few new cuss words!), Plutarch's Lives, Dante's Inferno, Il Paradesium, etc. to name a few. As we usually had a long time to kill, I read these.

Anyway, as a result, I have a penchant for the old classics, and love the sporting classics. The very old ones, many written in Old English (you almost need a translator - modern words don't mean the same thing). But I've learned a lot. Some day, I might even try my hand at building a greenheart rod, and using horsehair for line/leaders, and making my own "angles" (hooks) from needle stock, just to see what it was like. This is an interesting sport that we enjoy.