19th Century Fishing Lures

//19th Century Fishing Lures

Tight Lines Tuesday Mount Everest

Tight Lines Tuesday Mount Everest

Tight Lines Tuesday Mount Everest by John Etchieson –

In the early 1920s (1921 – 1924) several expeditions were undertaken by different parties of men to ascend to the top of Mount Everest, the worlds tallest mountain at 29,035 feet above sea level which is located midway between Tibet and China in the Himalayas. Mount Everest had been named by the Royal Geographical Society in 1865 to honor Colonel Sir George Everest (pictured) who was responsible for the surveying of India from 1830 through 1843. The world wide attendant publicity and media news coverage (including a silent film documentary by the Royal Geographical Society distributed to theaters world wide) of the several attempted but unsuccessful ascensions to the top of Mount Everest by George Mallory (3 times), Andrew Irvine, and others made the name of Mount Everest a house hold name and part of the contemporary popular culture 90+ years ago in 1924.

The G. H. Mansfield Company wasted no time in obtaining a trade mark for the name Mount Everest together with an image of that historic landmark in 1924 which it used to associate its highest quality braided silk fishing line with the highest and most recognizable mountain in the world over the course of the next 9 years prior to Mansfield filing bankruptcy and closing in 1933. From those 9 years of Mansfield’s production of their Mount Everest fishing Line, less that a dozen examples are […]

2017-09-19T09:46:15+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Comments Off on Tight Lines Tuesday Mount Everest

Joe Pepper Big Four Lure Card

Joe Pepper Big Four Lure Card

Here is a great Joe Pepper Big Four Lure Card assortment. These rare cards are seldom seen especially in this new old stock condition. The item dates to the turn of the century or a few years after. The lures and flies are carefully tied on the reverse of the card.

Joe Pepper’s

Big Four


Are Sure Winners

A Great Killer for Wall Eye, Pike and Bass,

Troll Slow and Deep

2017-09-02T13:34:13+00:00 August 26th, 2017|Comments Off on Joe Pepper Big Four Lure Card

Harpers Weekly April 1872

Harpers Weekly April 1872

In this edition of Harpers Weekly April 1872 we get a glimpse in to some of the lifes work for a man who’s name and work are embedded in fish-lore, fly fishing and sporting. Mr Seth Green in no an uncommon name to read when doing any type of research into the history of fishing. Whether it be stocking Tout or taking them on a fly Mr Green’s persona was only equaled by his lifes work and dedication to fishing.

Harpers Weekly April 1872 Harpers Weekly April 1872

Harpers Weekly April 1872 Harpers Weekly April 1872

Harpers Weekly April 1872 Harpers Weekly April 1872

APRIL 27, 1872.

In April, 1868, the Legislature of the State of New York passed a much-needed act for the protection of fish. The Hudson River was at the moment practically closed by various nets of so small a mesh that mature shad could not ascend to the usual spawning beds.

This act specifies four and a half inches as the smallest mesh to be used in a shad net, and provides, under penalty, for the opening of all nets or traps from sun-down of Saturday until sunrise of the following Monday. It also designate the season for shad fishery to be those days between the 15th of April and the 15th of June. Horatio […]

2017-08-21T17:03:39+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Comments Off on Harpers Weekly April 1872

Sparus Decussatus

Sparus Decussatus

The Sparus Decussatus looks like it belongs off the movie Tron in it geometrical color-scape. I love old color plates, and this plate is almost 2 centuries ago, published in 1833. Plates exhibit a lost art and craft akin to some of the subjects of focus itself. It’s habitat, the Coast of Ceylon, has been since renamed a more familiar, Sri-Lanka. The history of fishing is not just in the lures we use to catch them but appreciating some of these natural wonders. Catching this fish on either the fly or spin or surf would certainly be a treat.

Sparus Decussatus

Order Thoracic

Native Name, Helbili-Girawah- Basket Parrot.

S. Decussatus. The back green, gradually softening into a yellow tinge towards the lower fins; the body regularly marked, like wicker work, by graduated purple and grey tints. The head green, ornamented with orange-colored stripes and spots. The fins and tail yellow. 

The Hemblili-Girawah of the Cingalese derives its name from a sort of pouch or basket in which the natives carry their Betel-Leaf, (Piper Betel), Chunam, (Shell Lime), Tobacco, and Areka-Nut, (Areka Catechu), Called Hembili. Girawah, the Cingalese name for Parrot, is a term indisciminatley applied by the natives to a variety of splendid fishes with which the coast of Ceylon abounds. 

The Hembili-Girawah is edible, but is never sought after as an article of food. It inhabits rocky situations, and seldom exceeds fourteen or fifteen inches in length.


2017-07-12T15:07:34+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Comments Off on Sparus Decussatus

Acanthurus Vittatus

Acanthurus Vittatus

The Acanthurus Vittatus a name nearly as eloquent as its striped & colored beauty. This plate is almost 2 centuries ago, published in 1833. Plates exhibit a lost art and craft akin to some of the subjects of focus itself. It’s habitat, the Coast of Ceylon, has been since renamed a more familiar, Sri-Lanka. The history of fishing is not just in the lures we use to catch them but appreciating some of these natural wonders. Catching this fish on either the fly or spin would be a treat and I wonder if it was considered rare in 1833 if it even exists today.

Acanthurus Vittatus

Order, Thoracic

Native Name, Seweyah

A. Vittatus. Armed near the caudal fin with a sharp curved spine. Body striated.

The Seweyah is an extremely scarce fish on the southern coast of Ceylon: inhabits rocky situations and is not in request but for the gratification of the Naturalist. It seldom exceeds sixteen or seventeen inches in length, and is well armed near the caudal fin with a sharp curved spine, which it raises or depresses at pleasure: the former is the case when the animal is in a state of excitement or rage. The spine when depressed is scarcely visible within the scabbard which nature has assigned it, resembling in appearance a recent incision. 

For the present figure, six or seven specimens were procured, no two of […]

2017-07-10T12:09:22+00:00 July 10th, 2017|Comments Off on Acanthurus Vittatus

Scorpaena Volitans

Scorpaena Volitans

The Scorpaena Volitans whose name is an indication of its seductive & deadly beauty. I love old color plates, and this plate is almost 2 centuries ago, published in 1833. Plates exhibit a lost art and craft akin to some of the subjects of focus itself.  It’s habitat, the Coast of Ceylon, has been since renamed a more familiar, Sri-Lanka. The history of fishing is not just in the lures we use to catch them but appreciating some of these natural wonders. Catching this fish on either the fly or spin would be a treat until faced with having to dismount this thing off your hook.

Scorpaena Volitans

Native Name, Gini-Maha

Gini, Fire – Maha, Great

Branchiostegous rays 6. Dorsal 24, thirteen spinous, varied with black and reddish brown; the colors stronger on the spinous rays than on the others. Pectoral 14; the connecting membrane bluish and brown. Ventral 6, one spinous, bluish, spotted with white. Anal 10, three spinous. Caudal12. 

The Gini-Maha of the Cingalese accords with the description given by the Bloch of the Scorpaena Volitans, with the exception of the number of radii in the dorsal fin, Bloch gives 12 only. 

 The native fisherman attribute to this fish the power of inflicting wounds, for which there is no cure yet known; but that at present, is a mere hypothesis, and should be received as such.

Although the name given to this animal […]

2017-07-10T07:36:05+00:00 July 9th, 2017|Comments Off on Scorpaena Volitans

Charles Hibbard Antique Lure

Charles Hibbard Antique Lure Heart Shaped Spoon

This is an early Charles Hibbard Antique Lure. Charles A Hibbard of Grand Rapids Michigan was one of the pre 1900’s antique lure makers. This heart shaped spinner or spoon bears the stamp Hibbard, Pat March 25, 84. Hibbard became part of the L.S. Hill Company in 1879 and may have gone on his own not long after.

Both Hill and Hibbard lures featured patents that used or were center around a way to keep the spinner or spoon blade away from the shaft of the lure upon retrieval. The heart shaped spinner employs the use of his patented device. The Patent was number 295,758 and was granted on March 25th 1884.  You can find a few variations of Hibbard’s spoons, some that look like the typical L.S. Hill willow leaf, another in the shape of a fish and this one. Any that you find are not a common by any means.

Charles Hibbard Antique Lure Photo Gallery

2017-06-29T08:45:06+00:00 June 29th, 2017|Comments Off on Charles Hibbard Antique Lure

Enterprise Manufacturing Pflueger Fishing Tackle Plant

Enterprise Manufacturing Pflueger Fishing Tackle Plant

This great Enterprise Manufacturing Pflueger Fishing Tackle Plant article comes to us from November 10th, 1900. The article found in the trade rag, Hardware; A Review of the American Hardware Market. The article discusses the growth and transition through acquisition of the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, Pflueger.

Enterprise Manufacturing Pflueger Fishing Tackle Plant

    It comes almost in the nature of a surprise to the Hardware trade that every possible part of the fishing tackle store can be furnished complete from one factory. In the history of the Hardware business this has never been known to be within the range of possibility until the present time. It has always been found necessary to go through a number of establishments devoted to the different branches of the business in order to obtain what might be considered a complete line of fishing tackle. At the present time the factory of the Enterprise Mfg. Co. of Akron Ohio supplies this wonder in the way of achievement and as will be noticed by any one in the Hardware trade desirous of adding this line or of increasing it in their present stock the most complete assortment possible of fishing tackle and other appliances pertaining thereto will be found in their wonderful catalog. This business has grown from what might be considered a small beginning to the most extensive known to this particular branch of the trade. […]

2017-06-10T09:39:50+00:00 May 31st, 2017|Comments Off on Enterprise Manufacturing Pflueger Fishing Tackle Plant

JB McHarg Civil War Token

JB McHarg Civil War Token

This great example of a JB McHarg Civil War Token is a prime example of what drives me to collect. Looking off the beaten path for neat items to compliment both my or other lure collections is something I’ve always enjoyed. This drive or niche, or thinking outside the proverbial lure box at times has almost been a obsession. Thankfully my adult ADHD doesn’t let me stay grounded too long and off I go tracking down some other piece of knowledge or theory worm hole. Whether it’s paperwork, historical accounts, tidbits of information, photos or what have you, they all allow us the ability to follow the bread crumbs. Being able to piece together information to help complete or assemble a bigger picture.

JB McHarg Civil War Token Photo Gallery


Russell Rulau writes in his reference material titled “United States Tokens 1700-1900 ” 4th edition, Printed in 2004, that examples have both been found struck on Copper and Silver coinage. Using the example cited, as like the 1826 example above, it has been found on a 1819 United States Large Copper Cent, and a  Silver 1777 Spanish American Reales 2, a Spanish Colonial coin. For the Large Copper Cent it rates it a RM-7, Very Scarce, 10-19 known examples. The Silver Reales being even more scarce, rates a RM-8, which qualifies it as Rare, with 5-9 examples known to exist.

Neither coin being special unto themselves, the […]

2017-05-31T09:09:00+00:00 May 31st, 2017|Comments Off on JB McHarg Civil War Token

Orvis Fly Fishing Catalog

Orvis Fly Fishing Catalog

This Orvis Fly Fishing Catalog is a piscatorial visual treasure. I’ve always had a passion for the covers on 19th Century Fishing Tackle Companies, and this early early 1883 Orvis catalog does not disappoint. There are many fisherman through there lives make their way up to the Green Mountains of Vermont to Manchester to visit or pay homage to fly fishing.

Orvis Fly Fishing Catalog 1883 Orvis Fly Fishing Catalog 1883

2017-05-01T13:24:39+00:00 May 1st, 2017|Comments Off on Orvis Fly Fishing Catalog

Cornelia Fly Rod Crosby

Cornelia Fly Rod Crosby

Cornelia Fly Rod Crosby was Born and raised in Philips Maine in 1854. Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby was a writer, fly fisher, hunter, and outdoor enthusiast who worked for the Maine Central Railroad promoting the sporting life in Maine at the turn of the century.

She held the first Maine Guide license issued and allegedly was the the first woman to legally shoot a caribou in Maine and rumored to have shot against Annie Oakley in a sharpshooting competition. Her column “Fly Rod’s Note Book” was syndicated throughout the Eastern United States. She died in 1946.

2017-04-28T18:33:45+00:00 April 29th, 2017|Comments Off on Cornelia Fly Rod Crosby

Fly Fishing Cabinet Card

Fly Fishing Cabinet Card

Here is a great early 19th Century Fly Fishing Cabinet Card. The astute gentleman posing with his large green heart rod and what looks to be a larger Salmon type reel. Leaning upon the rock as well is a early landing gaff, single tine. Im not sure what I envy more his chops or his catch laying at his feet.

Fly Fishing Cabinet Card Fly Fishing Cabinet Card

2017-04-28T17:09:54+00:00 April 28th, 2017|Comments Off on Fly Fishing Cabinet Card

Syracuse Split Bamboo Fish Rod Company

Syracuse Split Bamboo Fish Rod Company

This Syracuse Split Bamboo Fish Rod Company, Henry Loftie catalog is a great early pre 1900’s Catalog. Circa 1889, this cover has made it over a century protected for it to be enjoyed by collectors and American Fishing Historians a century later. I’ve always been fond of Antique Paper Goods like catalogs, invoices, ads and stories. Maybe I’m a dreamer, its just my thing, #itsmystorytotell I’ve always said. I cant imagine if I was first collecting an I got to view some of the things that have come out of the woodwork since I started in the mid 1990’s. I know for some its just a cover and not as exciting as a 5 Hook Heddon Minnow or for some even a Bagley Honey B in a Parrot finish.

I would love to ad a Syracuse Fish and Rod Bamboo Pole to my Collection or any other unique Items by Henry Loftie. If you have any leads or items please email me. 

 If you can step back into to 1889 you’ll see things like Montana, Washington, North Dakota, and South Dakota being admitted as states. Names like Seth Green and Monroe Green are synonymous with central NY fish hatcheries. Lure makers Such as WD Chapman, JT Buel, Pflueger, John Mann, FS Graves, Hawks and Ogilvy, J.B McHarg, John Pepper are all coming into their own and some were at their pinnacle while others in their infancy.

2017-04-18T14:30:57+00:00 April 18th, 2017|Comments Off on Syracuse Split Bamboo Fish Rod Company

Pflueger Maybug Spinner Lure

Pflueger May Bug Lure

The Pflueger May Bug Lure was introduced in the late 1880’s. The May Bug is one of the early quintessential Pflueger, or Enterprise Manufacturing Company Lure made in Akron Ohio.  The lure was produced for around 3 decades or thirty years until 1916. The May Bug was made to be fished or “Skittered” across the water. The Ad below touts that “The body is separated from the wings, gives life-like action to the bait when drawn through the water.”

The Pflueger May Bug was only made in one size, and measures roughly less than two inches in length. And although being made in only one size, this antique fishing lure was made in two different models. Such as many of the 19th Century Pflueger produced, they offered the May Bug both a Luminous and a Non Luminous version. The Luminous version is a model series number 975 and the Non-Luminous a series number 976.  The May Bug is beautifully painted, its wings an emerald shade of green, and spotted  abdomen and painted black eyes. The thorax is a black striped red, and its its legs and feet black as well. The underside of the lure can be found in two flavors. The Non Luminous is primarily painted in red and the Luminous as shown below in the gallery has both the luminous and red paint to attract the fish from below.

As were many of the early Pflueger […]

2017-06-15T07:50:27+00:00 April 14th, 2017|Comments Off on Pflueger Maybug Spinner Lure

Comstock Flying Helgramite Lure

Comstock Flying Helgramite Lure

The Comstock Flying Helgramite Lure was made by Harry Comstock, Fulton, New York. Circa 1883. This is considered one of if not the first glass eyed antique fishing lures produced. The inventor Harry Comstock was not only a lure maker but at the time a noted gun enthusiast, salesman, inventor and designer and world traveler from Fulton Ny.

The Comstock flying Hellgramite embodies not only the future or what the artificial minnow or lure would evolve from, but also has ties and roots in a common insect that was used in Fly Fishing. Matching the hatch is a term used in Fly Fish where one analyzes his or her surroundings and the entomology available (Bugs) and tries to match nature with fly. The Dobson fly in its Larvae stages is called a Hellgrammite, and is a water dwelling insect which ferociously fees on its predators.

However, what I find interesting is that the lure itself resembles the Dobsonfly an not namesake. Also noted for its nocturnal feeding habits, the Dobsonfly had 2″ wings which folded down its back. Interesting enough by themselves, Harry’s eccentricity, combined with his travels to China as a gun salesman, his noted efforts as a inventor of guns, and yet we only ever would see this one fishing lure come from this worldly thinker.

The Enterprise Manufacturing Co., Pflueger, would eventually take over this fishing lure from 1883-85 still calling it the Flying Hellgramite, while […]

2017-02-01T19:03:10+00:00 February 1st, 2017|Comments Off on Comstock Flying Helgramite Lure

Chautauqua Trolling Minnow

Chautauqua Trolling Minnow

The Chautauqua Trolling Minnow although looking the part is not a pre 1900’s lure. Ive grouped it in there, as if to suggest while in truth it was made in 1909, if fits better with it the Pre 1900 friends made by Chapman, Buel, Mann Loftie and the slew of others. This stamped metal lure is one of the top lures in many miscellaneous or New York themed collections. The Lure Produced in Jamestown, NY had gill marks, eyes and fins stamped into its suit of armor. This classic lure only measures a mere 3 1/2″ in length not including the leader. While I stated earlier it fit more into the 19th Century I say that as its also a mechanical spring hook. The two string wrapped side single hooks are tucked inside the tail, until a fish strikes at which time the hooks are released into the sides of mouth of its prey.

Chautauqua Trolling Minnow

2017-01-26T10:14:36+00:00 January 26th, 2017|Comments Off on Chautauqua Trolling Minnow

Joseph Meatyard Pocket Watch From John Mann

Joseph Meatyard Pocket Watch From John Mann

This piece a Joseph Meatyard Pocket Watch From John Mann has always been one of my favorite things in my antique lure collection. Yes, Yes I know its not a lure, but it is to me an equal to most every lure in my collection. Ive always been a antique collector even prior to being hooked by the antique lure hobby.

I was drug around from barn to attic, to antique show to county fairs in central NY and New England as a child. My mother, a self taught, semi-profesional Mission Arts and Crafts and Pottery “picker” whos keen eye in the mid to late 80s put many miles on the family suburban. Her perserveance and keen eye not only supplied a stickly store front on Pennsylvania Ave in Washington DC, it supplied many advanced collectors key early pottery pieces from makers such as Newcomb, Rookwood, Weller, Fulper and many more. I said all that to say Ive come to love many things, even as a child using my cigar box moneies at garage sales for baseball cards to little big books to Currier and Ives prints. I can only imagine what I would have dug up had I been a lure collector during my life in upstate NY in the 70s and 80s.

Through out my lure collecting history Ive had many pieces come and go through my hands, if but just for a moment […]

2017-01-21T08:54:19+00:00 January 21st, 2017|1 Comment

Sam the Black Bass Man Part I Sunday Sounds

Sam Sam the Black Bass Man Part I

In introducing Sam the Black Bass Man, I must digress back a bit, and say thanks for all the views , likes comments, emails and texts I’ve received. The last 12 Months with Fin and Flame has been fun. I have even bigger expectations and plans for the next year. Your continued support and acknowledgement, is your enjoyment, and that is enough to keep me digging up more. I know I’ve been remiss in doing the Sunday Sounds, or the Friday Fly Fishing Features to which I need to return to a regular basis. I did them early on with the blog and with a smaller audience and have since gotten side tracked. I think of this issue as my adult ADHD, as I’m easily sidetracked down new paths when antiques collide with fishing; My wife calls it hoarding.

I’m an avid fishing lure collector and overall fishing and general history lover. I have a fascination with history, antiques, and it’s an added bonus when anything can tie the two together. I must confess, my appreciation and capacity for having a vivid imagination with these items to which I view, study or collect, is way larger than my memory or knowledge of any one single piece of it. I’m great at remembering a few tidbits about a lot of little things, rather than being a true expert at one.  So, As I introduce Sam any information that you may […]

2016-12-16T14:01:53+00:00 December 16th, 2016|1 Comment

Skinner Turkey Wing Ad 1884

Skinner Turkey Wing Ad

Since today’s motif is Turkey, I found  this apropos.

This Skinner Turkey Wing Ad came from 1884. The Hibbard Spencer and Bartlett Company was a large seller of many items fishing tackle included.

GM Skinner Clayton NY

Silver Plated Oval and Kidney Pattern.

These Baits are noted for superior workmanship and piscatorial success. The fluting beautifies, stiffens and preserves the shape. Each Bait is finely plated and mounted with first quality Scarlet Ibis, and other natural color flies, on the very best Brass wire, Treble hooks and Swivels making it the best trolling Spoon Now on the Market. 

Nickled Plated – Oval Pattern Only.

These Spoons are mounted first quality feathered treble hooks and swivels and are all made with the same dies as these in Silver Plate, and will therefore be of standard size. Each Spoon will be stamped with the makers name. 


Skinner Turkey Wing Ad 1884 Skinner Turkey Wing Ad 1884


2016-11-24T09:17:00+00:00 November 24th, 2016|Comments Off on Skinner Turkey Wing Ad 1884

WD Chapman Photo

WD Chapman Photo

This WD Chapman Photo is truly a great piece of history. In speaking to a local historian in Theresa New York Jefferson County she said she had a photo of the antique lure maker and would make a copy of her copy and mail it to me. Little nuggets of history come together to tell larger stories. I’ve only ever seen one other photo of the lure maker, the one used in Arlan’s 19th Century lure makers Book. If anyone has any other photos of the lure maker his home (I have one of those but I haven’t finished the accompanying article to go with it) the lure factory or relating to WD Chapman, I would welcome any and all.

I can make out the writing at the bottom but the side alludes me. If you can figure it out send me an email. From the photo it looks as if WD Chapman was enjoying his twilight years the way many of us would also enjoy, under a tree and next to the water.

W.D. Chapman Lure Maker Photo

2016-11-21T17:42:27+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Comments Off on WD Chapman Photo

Antique Fishing Attire 1875

Antique Fishing Attire 1875

There have been may discussion over Antique Fishing attire in as much as the ability of the common layman to be able to afford to fish as a leisure or pleasure hobby. Simply put many people in early 19th Century America fished for food not for pleasure. In the span of a century predating this 1875 ad from B. F. Masters, we see America evolve from a Autocratic dominated or centrist type society to one that sought out personal satisfaction as a right to all not just the elite few. However, the cost of doing such played as much of a part as looking the part while doing it.

We see small facets of this still in 20th century America as it pertains to certain sports and pastimes, for example in the hunting and shooting vein. If you’d like an example just Google Orvis and Upland hunting gear, or Holland & Holland or Purdey Over and Under and Side by side, and one comes to the conclusion that being seen is still just as important to some as the activity itself. The fishing hobby in the 20th century is not absent or innocent of this type of American cultural phenomenon either take a stroll down any popular fly fishing area or a weigh in at any Bass Master Classic tournament and the point is well proven.

So why then should the 19th century be any different. During a time where […]

2016-11-19T07:34:53+00:00 November 19th, 2016|Comments Off on Antique Fishing Attire 1875

Antique Lure History Collage

Antique Lure History Collage

While this Antique Lure History Collage isn’t very old all being published in 1986, the author took great care in inserting some wonderful “Easter Eggs” to find. This photo was taken from an article in 1986, from “The Florida Today” newspaper.

How many can you find? The Heddon Slope Nose or Heddon Expert lure, The JT Buel Spoon?  The artist as well as author went on to speak of fishing tackle innovations throughout history. Annotating the first bone hook per say has been dated to at least around 20,000 years ago.  Stating that even around 200 BC there are written accounts of an artificial bait used to “fool fish”.

Antique Lure History Collage

2016-11-04T16:46:52+00:00 November 4th, 2016|Comments Off on Antique Lure History Collage

Antique Fishing Photo Sam Wallace CDV

Antique Fishing Photo Sam Wallace CDV

This a great Antique Fishing Photo Sam Wallace CDV. CDV or Carte De Viste is a photography format or medium like we a few have discussed before with Samuel Tisdale the Black bass Man. The Carte De Viste CDV was invented and patented by France by photographer André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri in 1854. This medium of smallish sized card would be supplanted or followed by “cabinet cards”, in the early 1870’s as the popular or medium of choice.

As I’ve stated before a Fisherman or Fishing scenes are considered difficult to find. Usually the subjects of the early photos were of some importance, and or elevated social status. Being able to afford a true Rod, Reel, Creel and Fishing outfit was not generally widespread.

In this great pose we see our subject Sam Wallace presenting with all the needed items for a great day on the water or stream. If anyone is able to ID the Rod or especially the reel I would be great-full for the help. If you have any photos youd be willing to let me use and share with the readers please contact me. I would love to add some more period images to the site and would be more than happy to give full credit for the submission.

Antique Fishing Photo Sam Wallace CDV

2016-11-03T11:55:51+00:00 November 3rd, 2016|Comments Off on Antique Fishing Photo Sam Wallace CDV

Grover Cleveland Fisherman President

Grover Cleveland Fisherman President

What do Grover Cleveland Fisherman President and Joseph Decatur, Dr Kassen Gibson and the small town I grew up in in Upstate NY have in common?

Grover Cleveland, who in my opinion was one of our best presidents was arguably one of the better fisherman and outdoors sportsmen presidents of all time. I will show some more on Mr. Cleveland, whom he and his wife had associations to 19th Century Lure, Rod and Reel makers of Upstate NY in the future. However a friend of mine shared this article the other day, and not only did it make sense to tie his travel to central NY with his sporting affinities, below is a great article about a Dr who my grade school in the sleepy town of Norwich NY was named after, Gibson Elementary.

Although Norwich, a sub 10K resident town which is known for its inventions such as Pepto Bismal, and Chloroseptic the area also had antique lure ties. Anyone whos done some research on Captian Henry Welch of the Welch and Graves Duo will notice the Norwich as his birthplace. So while doing research Ive come to know things I wish I knew and had interests in when I spent 18 years there.

Grover Clevland and his wife were spoken of highly and even written about in Henry Loftie Catalogs as users and purveyors of his rods and even his hair products also had another reason to […]

2016-11-01T18:56:04+00:00 November 1st, 2016|Comments Off on Grover Cleveland Fisherman President

1888 Thomas Conroy Billhead

1888 Thomas Conroy Billhead

This 1888 Thomas Conroy Billhead is a great piece of Ephemera. Paper goods from the previous century provide us large cookie crumbs along our way to finding out some of the riddles. If for nothing else the Bill head, and envelope provide a picture or window into business names during certain segments. Conroy as a company had been in business since 1830 and though the years changed its names as follows:

John Conroy – 1830
J.&J.C. Conroy- 1840
J.C. Conroy & Co.- 1864
Conroy Bissett & Malleson – 1875
Conroy & Bissett – 1881
Thomas J. Conroy – 1883

2016-10-31T12:57:27+00:00 October 31st, 2016|Comments Off on 1888 Thomas Conroy Billhead

Pflueger Joseph Spoon Lure

Pflueger Joseph Spoon Lure

The Pflueger Joseph Spoon was said to have been introduced around the late 1880’s. Pflueger, the Enterprise Manufacturing Company of Akron, Ohio expanded their metal spinner and lure offering through innovations, patent purchases, mergers and aquisitions as well as making things very much like other companies. This antique fishing lure was given a model series number 160 for the luminous version and 161 for the non luminous versions.

The name would be changed later to the Perfect Revolving Heart. That name and that shape had been used decades earlier by the John H Mann Company. The lure is also similar using a spring type design to keep the blade away from the spinner by a Mr Louis Kessler. While some may lean towards the Kessler connection for its design and patent in 1883, I however personally think there is more of a Mann connection. Pflueger where by seeing the success of the lure among fisherman as well as the death of John Mann in 1893. Whatever reson there were multiple companies who used a similar lure with a similar lure function. The reason, to keep the blade of the lure away from the shaft while it revolved around the lure upon retrieval or trolling.

No matter what you collect, be it Pflueger, Heddon, Creek Chub or the litany of other early or later manufactures that used metal, plastic, or wood, appreciating the craftsmanship and the history of the […]

2016-10-27T10:35:02+00:00 October 27th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger Joseph Spoon Lure

Andrew Clerk Company

Andrew Clerk Company

This Andrew Clerk Company ad comes out of book published in 1885. One of the benefits of insomnia is I get to stay up reading and get rewarded by running across great early ads such as below. Through mergers, acquisitions name changes, and more the Andrew Clerk Company was around for more then a century making it one of the oldest American fishing institutions.

Andrew Clerk & Co.

43 Maiden Lane and 35 Liberty Street
New York

Importers, Manufacturers and Dealers in all kinds of

Fishing Tackle Fish Hooks Etc.
And Sole agents of
Warrin’s Celebrated

Drilled Eye & Telegraph Needles

We would Call the attention to Anglers and Sportsmen in General

Excelsior Split Bamboo Fly Rod

Which is unequaled as to lightness, flexibility and strength. The most Expert Anglers of the Adirondacks and Maine have bestowed upon us the highest encomiums, and not only upon our Excelsior Split Bamboo Rod, but also upon our

Cedar and Lancewood Rods

of which we have the largest and most complete variety in the world. In flies we have infinite varieties for which we are so justly celebrated and all of our own make. Also particular flies for favorite localities such as the Adirondacks, Maine Etc. All these are tied securely on the best silkworm gut, either tinted or plain and have given the utmost satisfaction to Scientific Anglers. Our assortment of 

Reels, […]

2016-10-24T18:57:52+00:00 October 24th, 2016|Comments Off on Andrew Clerk Company

Chapman Combination Minnow Lure Ad

Chapman Combination Minnow Lure Ad

This Chapman Combination Minnow Lure Ad is out of Forrest and Stream from January 25th, 1885.

Chapman’s Bait Still Ahead

The “New Combination,” Just Out. See Cut

In Three Sizes for Pike, Pickerel, Bass, Trout & Muskellunge

Read the Testimonials:

W.D. Chapman and Son, Theresa, New York: As an old fisherman who has used your baits for the past twenty five years, allow me to congratulate you on the success of your New Combination Bait for Trout, Muskellunge, and Bass. It is very attractive, as the record of catches in Wisconsin last fall will show. I consider it the best bait in its different sizes made, and predict for it the largest sale of Any Bait Ever Made.  

Yours Truly, A.G. Ryther

W.D. Chapman and Son, Theresa, New York: I take pleasure to testifying to the great merits of your New Combination Muskellunge Bait. I gave them a good trial the first of last November and caught 13 Muskellunges in two and a half days fishing, without the loss of a fish, and two of the thirteen weighed over twenty pounds each. You will have a large demand for these baits, sportsman must have them. 

Yours Truly, John S. George

To Produce These Baits at once we will send by mail upon receipt of price: 

No. 1 For Salmon, Trout and Muskellunge $1.50

No. 2 For Pickerel, Pike Bass and […]

2016-10-27T12:56:43+00:00 October 24th, 2016|Comments Off on Chapman Combination Minnow Lure Ad

Brush Trolling Spoon 1880 Ad

Brush Trolling Spoon 1880 Ad

Here is a great Brush Trolling Spoon 1880 Ad. Taken from Forest and Stream the May 20th 1880 weekly edition. The ad actually uses the patent drawing in its advertisement illustration.

Don’t Catch Weeds and Logs

But Catch Fish

Brush’s Patent Trolling Spoons entirely overcome the defects heretofore found in all other spoons, viz., running so  deep to catch weeds and logs and below where the fish see them. Made of the best material. Bass Size $0.75; Pickerel $1.00; Muskellunge $1.25 Each by Mail $0.25 Extra for Gold Plated Address

Henry C Brush, Brushton, Franklin Co, New York 

Or to be had at Wholesale of Reatil from Chas. L. Ritzman 943 Broadway NY

2016-10-18T12:09:31+00:00 October 18th, 2016|Comments Off on Brush Trolling Spoon 1880 Ad

Pflueger American Spinner Lure

Pflueger American Spinner Lure

The Pflueger American Spinner Lure was first introduced around 1894. The Enterprise Manufacturing Company of Akron, Ohio would not be the only one to make this lure. A very similar with notable differences was produced and patented by John B. McHarg in 1896 as well as The Hedryx Bait Company. With it’s waning crescent like shape and ball spinner the arrowhead shaped spinner lure is a beauty. One side of the blade being a polished nickle the other a hammered copper colored alloy. This not only attracts fish, but antique lure collectors as well.

The Pflueger American Spinner lure was offered in a Non Luminous style which was a series number 48 as well as a Luminous version a series 47. After the 1900’s you can find the lure in a second quality finish as shown in the catalog cut from 1904 below. The lure was made in six different sizes, a one through six, the one being the smallest. You can find the lure with a glass bead or a metal washer as well. You will also find these later in production with the typical Bull Dog Logo in the teens like the example in the gallery below.

In the thrid photo in the gallery you can see the two tabs that are used to hold the sides together. This is one of the ways to distinguish a McHarg, which used a soldered method.

Pflueger’s American […]

2016-10-26T11:41:06+00:00 October 15th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger American Spinner Lure

Pflueger Angle Worm Lure

Pflueger Angle Worm Lure

The Pflueger Angle Worm Lure was first introduced in 1894. While the Angle Worm would be new, making rubber lures was not a new thing for the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, Pflueger, of Akron Ohio. I’ve said for a before that I believe Pflueger’s choice of rubber as a antique lure medium had a lot to do with having the B.F Goodrich company and it’s suppliers close by. The Helgramite Post talks to this and the Rubber Industry. The Enterprise Manufacturing had quite an array of rubber insects, critters and fly eaters throughout its history.

This antique fishing lure in its simplicity was setup the same way a angler would set up using a regular worm. The Angle Worm has two single hooks tied into the inline rig. One at the top of the worm, the other at the end of the set up. The Angle Worm itself was available in six different sizes, and just like many of the early Pflueger lures you could get it in a Luminous and Non Luminous options. The lure used the model series number 227, and was sold like many of the early lures attached to a card. This later version, the one shown in the gallery would add a box to the to the set up.

Pflueger Angle Worm Lure Photo Gallery

2016-10-14T10:28:58+00:00 October 14th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger Angle Worm Lure

Pflueger St Clair Double Spoon Lure

Pflueger St Clair Double Spoon Lure

The Pflueger St Clair Double Spoon Lure is truly a beauty. This antique fancy metal Pflueger, Enterprise Manufacturing Company fishing lure was made in Akron, Ohio. The Saint Clair was a model 691 and was the Non Luminous Tandem Spoon, its counter-part the St. Lawrence, model 690, was the Luminous version. This antique lure dates to or is pre 1890. This beautiful example almost 120 years old has a great patina.

The Pflueger St. Clair Double Spoon lure was available in 5 different size models, One through Five, and after 1900 was offered in six different sizes. The lure can be found with varying fancy blades. This inline rig features a box swivel at the top attached to the pre-made factory loop. Next is one of the blades or some can be found with a trace leader with treble hook attached. The first of two beautiful metal spoons rests on a section of the shaft followed by a red ruby glass bead Pflueger’s fancy fluted ball. This pattern then repeated one more time before getting to the trailing feathered treble hook.

This great example of a Pflueger St. Clair Double Spoon lure shown uses the Fancy Fish Scale Blade as well as the Fancy Daisy blade patterns.

No matter what you collect, be it Pflueger, Heddon, Creek Chub or the litany of other early or later manufactures that used metal, plastic, or wood, appreciating the craftsmanship and the […]

2016-10-26T11:41:07+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger St Clair Double Spoon Lure

Pflueger Antique Lure 1893 Sportsman Directory

Pflueger Antique Lure 1893 Sportsman Directory

In this Pflueger Antique Lure 1893 Sportsman Directory advertisement we see the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, Pflueger advertise its luminous lures. The Enterprise Manufacturing Co., out of Akron, Ohio had just a year earlier come out with the Success Spinner. The advertisement recants an anglers success and experiences with one of Pflueger’s luminous soft rubber frogs.

Pflueger Antique Lure 1893 Sportsman Directory

Read and be convinced what Pfluegers Luminous Baits can do.

W.F. De Wolf, 7011 Monroe St., Englewood, Chicag, writes;

“I must tell you of my great “fish catch” with one of “Pflueger’s Luminous Frogs.” I caught 40 Black Bass in two mornings and one evening fishing. The largest weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz., measured 22 in. in length, a 14 in. girth, with mouth 4 in. across (when open). Several of the weighed 5 and 5 1/2 lbs. each, quite a number 3 1/2, 4 and 4 1/2, and a great many 2 to 3 lbs.

“The little town where this catch was made, and all it’s fishermen were wild when they saw the string of fish. I had them, myself and boatman photographed. The 7 ponder tired my boatman and myself so that we sat and looked at each other for a moment or two after landing him, neither having a word to say. The sight of such a monster lying on the bottom of the boat, and the thought […]

2016-10-11T12:07:45+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger Antique Lure 1893 Sportsman Directory

WD Chapman Minnow Propeller Definition

WD Chapman Minnow Propeller Definition

This WD Chapman Minnow Propeller Definition proves that life was simpler back then. In a day and age where everything seems to be complicated from our fishing bots to the equipment installed upon them we have come a long way. These two ads from 1884 are amusing, as they use W.D Chapman’s lures to help define the word “Propeller”. These ads were found off the beaten path in a periodical called “Knight’s New Mechanical Dictionary, A Description of Tools, Instruments, Machines, Processes, and Engineering with Indexical References to Technical Journals.”

In the first illustration we see them use the Minnow Propeller to define: Minnow Propeller, a bait for trolling, having a bright spoon which rotates by contact with the water. Behind the propeller is a feather bait with hooks.

The Second uses Chapman’s Reversible Propeller or Double Bass Bait as we refer to it as;  Propeller, A kind of trolling bait having oblique wings which cause it to rotate it in the water.

WD Chapman Minnow Propeller Definition

2016-09-21T13:30:34+00:00 September 21st, 2016|Comments Off on WD Chapman Minnow Propeller Definition

Pflueger Puritan Beaded Egg Bait

Pflueger Puritan Beaded Egg Bait

The Pflueger Puritan Beaded Egg Bait fishing lure was introduced some time after 1886. The Enterprise manufacturing Company of Akron Ohio is said to have purchased the patent rights to a lure. The antique lure called the Hamilton, originally made by the Nye Creaser Company. This antique lure can be seen in the 1892 catalog next to it’s non-luminous partner “The Volunteer”, which used a model series 191 through 193. The Puritan used a model series 194 through 197. This lure would later transition into the Pflueger Kidney Beaded Bait as shown in the 1904 catalog below.

The Puritan, was offered in a series of Sizes 1 though 8 in the early years, and one through 7 using Nine examples including half sizes after it changed it’s name to the Kidney Beaded Bait. The antique lure would start with a pre attached swivel, then featured a glass bead on the early models, trailed by the blade or spoon attached to the top of inline rig via a clevis. The blade, which can is shown in a Fancy Fish Scale Pattern was available also in the era specific patterns. From the Fish Scale Blade shown to the Root Blade and Hammered finishes or the Dimpled and Grenade type spoon. Following the blade was a series of colored and differing shaped and sized beads or egg as they were referred to. The end of the inline rig would be trailed by a fancy […]

2016-10-26T11:41:07+00:00 September 13th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger Puritan Beaded Egg Bait

Pflueger Governor Lure

Pflueger Governor Lure

The Pflueger Governor Lure was first introduced around 1892. This antique fishing lure was made by the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, of Akron Ohio. This fancy Pflueger Metal Spoon and minnow was given a series 792. The “Governor” was the Luminous version to its non luminous counterpart, “The Admiral”.

These lures were offered in the 1892 Pflueger lure catalog in three different sizes. The sizes were 7, 8, and 9. The Governor was constructed on a long wire shaft, at the rear of which was a trailing feathered treble hook to secure its prey. Moving forward it was followed by a painted and molded rubber composite minnow, which bore the resemblance of a real minnow even down to the red gills and fluted fins. On Each side of the wire through lure was a crimson red glass bead. Next, after the second bead we see a looped trace leader that has a single treble that is affixed at the end. The loop and the red glass bead atop and at the bottom of it allowing it some mobility to rotate freely moving up and down the shaft when retrieved. At the Apex of this great 19th century minnow rig we see what we as collectors refer to as a fancy blade, spinner or spoon. There were different designs available that adorned the in line rig. The ornate design or fancy blade we see here is called the Sea Shell Pattern blade.

No matter what […]

2016-10-26T11:41:08+00:00 September 8th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger Governor Lure

Pflueger Propeller Antique Lure

Pflueger Propeller Antique Lure

The Pflueger Propeller Antique Lure is great piece of 19th Century metal. This antique lure was first made made by the Enterprise Manufacturing Company of Akron Ohio around 1886. There were two different versions available in the catalog. The “Propeller” was given a model 691, and was the non-luminous version, and the “Champion” was given a model series number 690, and was the Luminous version of the antique spinner lure. The lure would last less than a decade in the Pflueger lure catalog line up and would be gone by around 1895. While the lure itself would cease to be produced, one cant hep but wonder if it had a hand in inspiring the “New Akron Spoon”, of the “Tandem Spinner” that followed directly after.

The “Propeller” metal antique lure is built upon a simple wire shaft comprised of an assembly of intricate pieces. The antique lure at it’s base has a series of three metal balls faceted on a hollow tube and topped by a crimson red glass bead. The second or abdomen section is again a hollow tube which has faceted to it, a flat roughly 1/2″ wide ribbon type prop which rounded tips curl at the end, with another round ball faceted above. At the peak or crown is yet another metal propeller, fashioned into the shape of petals or 8 separate blades. The lure has a simple box swivel to attach ones line to, and a single feathered […]

2016-10-26T11:41:08+00:00 September 8th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger Propeller Antique Lure

Hibbard Spencer Bartlett Fishing Catalog

Hibbard Spencer Bartlett Fishing Catalog

This Hibbard Spencer Bartlett Fishing Catalog is from 1893. Its one of my favorite antique fishing lure and reel catalogs. The company playing a major role in the outdoor sporting fields both hunting, fishing, and fly fishing for many decades. Acting as a major jobber and distributor of fishing tackle from just about every maker of fly fishing , bait casting, rod and reel makers we as collectors seek out.

The artwork done on these great old catalogs gives us insight into not only the sport but the marketing used for the period of time.

The company would produced some of the largest catalogs I’ve seen selling everything from door nobs, to dinnerware to firearms and small gauge cannons, yes I said cannons.  Many of their main catalogs in the pre-teens to mid teens reached 1500+ pages.

Hibbard Spencer Bartlett Fishing Catalog

2016-09-02T10:19:50+00:00 September 2nd, 2016|Comments Off on Hibbard Spencer Bartlett Fishing Catalog

Hastings Frog Antique Lure

Hastings Frog Antique Lure

The Hastings Frog Antique Lure was originally made by James T Hastings, of Chicago, Illinois. He patented his version of the fly eater, August 24th, 1895. However, this version of the antique frog lure was made by smiling Bill Jamison, also of Chicago, Illinois. Jamison acquired the rights to this patent somewhere near 1910. So while certain versions of the antique frog fall into the 19th Century fishing lure category, this one doesn’t. The frog lure example shown is made of a rubber composite type material, which over time has been know to shrink dry and crack. The frog lure rides upon or is tethered to the metal frog harness which line tie exits the frog at the nose. The lure has the typical weighted underbelly to add weight to the lure. The Hastings Frog harness has two single hooks which the shanks are upturned at the feet.

The box example shown is white in color, however you can see its in poor condition. You can also find the box in Jamison’s pink version too. You may be fortunate enough to find one with the picture of the frog which would be the Harris version of the frog antique lure box. And alas I wonder would not the frog be considered fly fishing, at its purest form? Those to those that missed that, sorry, I apologize for my attempt at bad humor early in the morning.

2016-08-18T13:05:10+00:00 August 18th, 2016|Comments Off on Hastings Frog Antique Lure

JD Allen Antique Lure Fish Spoon

JD Allen Antique Lure Fish Spoon

This JD Allen Antique Lure Fish Spoon is kind of a 19th Century fishing lure head scratcher for me. The spoon is marked JD Allen, South Otselic, NY and a size number 4. What is the confusing part is, in Arlan’s book he lists JD Allen being from South Otselic and being a antique lure maker in 1892. If you then turn to page 253, it shows M.B. Allen being from Battle Creek Michigan. Mason B Allen having a patent on the clasp used to attach the lure to the shaft and producing the same shape spinner antique lure. However, I have never been able to find the relation between the two, via ancestry or other web sites. There is no sharing or splitting of the patent, patent number 527,259. I do have other J.D Allen spoons made in different shapes and none are marked with a patent like the M B Allen example. If it were modern day it would be a long days drive, however in the 19th century it could make for a few weeks to a months travel.

If you know the answer, and would be so kind to share it with me, you would make my day. I also am seeking out other examples of this 19th Century Lure maker’s makers lures, as I’m from a small country town in Upstate NY 20 miles from South Otselic, NY which in 1850 had a […]

2016-10-26T11:41:08+00:00 August 18th, 2016|Comments Off on JD Allen Antique Lure Fish Spoon

Hawks Ogilvy 1889 Fishing Tackle Catalog

Hawks Ogilvy 1889 Fishing Tackle Catalog

Here we have a Hawks Ogilvy 1889 Fishing Tackle Catalog cover. I had posted another early Henry Loftie Catalog cover and I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the others. I’ve always enjoyed being able to look back in time, to see the American Fishing Industries roots being laid. To see some of the early verbiage or phrasing they used or to see who was selling who’s products. Early marketing wasn’t near what it is today, so word of mouth became fact of lore, so to speak.

Hawks and Ogilvy is another large trade house akin and synonymous with other Antique Fishing Tackle houses and distributors, such as Abbey and Imbrie, Clark’s and Horrocks, TH Bate and many others. Just like today we see the transformation and mergers of large conglomerates either through necessity or through the Fishing Industries “Natural Selection” if you will. I’m sure someone will correct me but Robert Ogilvy was in business prior to the combination of Hawks & Ogilvy and then again in 1893 we see Robert Ogilvy branch out alone. While a lot of thier material was re branded under thier name they used the Iron Cross to distinguish some of their items. But the list of items that they carried from Bamboo Hexagonal Fly Fishing rods to rods specific to Chumming, or Black Bass the list was staggering. The also re branded reels, you will find things like the traditional […]

2016-10-26T11:41:09+00:00 August 8th, 2016|Comments Off on Hawks Ogilvy 1889 Fishing Tackle Catalog

19th Century Fly Fishing Illustration

19th Century Fly Fishing Illustration

These classic 19th Century Fly Fishing Illustration come to use from a William Blacker fly fishing portfolio. Black was a fishing and fly fishing distributor, and are of English origin. The Rocky mount illustration was done by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. I am uncertain of the illustrator for the other. The two illustrations were only 6 x 3 and were shown inside along with the types and series of fly patterns offered. These two images incite the very soul of any fly fisherman or angler.

One cant also help but note the attire.While we focus on the things we are familiar such as the rod, the reel and the creel, we tend to overlook the other oddities. While fishing is certainly for the masses in the 21st century it was very much through subsistence or of hierarchical pretense in the 19th century. I did a post not long ago entitled The Antique Fishing Attire in 1875.  In that post it had shown some of what a country gentleman may wear or outfit himself with and made the comparison to what it would equal in today’s dollar.

19th Century Fly Fishing Illustration 19th Century Fly Fishing Illustration

19th Century Fly Fishing 19th Century Fly Fishing

2016-10-26T11:41:09+00:00 August 3rd, 2016|Comments Off on 19th Century Fly Fishing Illustration

John Mann Tandem Improved Trolling Spoon

John Mann Tandem Improved Trolling Spoon

The John Mann Tandem Improved Trolling Spoon is an early Pre 1900’s or 19th Century fishing Lure. The John H Mann Company of Syracuse NY is one of the most successful grocery, sundries, dry good and fishing tackle store central New York would ever have. Most don’t know Mr. Mann actually sold guns and revolvers out of his store. I will do a whole page on Mann so I don’t want to speak of all the his wonderful accomplishments both from a Small Business or to a 1800’s fishing tackle manufacture. I first brought up John Henry Mann on the Pocket Watch Page. Needless to say the Bastable Block Landscape in Syracuse New York would house on iconic business run by a great inventor and  community leader.

The lure shown was first produced in roughly 1870, and would be granted a patent for the lure on 1871. The version shown below in the gallery is a large size post patent lure as noted by the stamping of the Patent Date on the lure. The two large tear drop shaped trolling spoons were meant to land a large Northern or Large Wall Eye fish.  Fashioned in between the spoons is Mann’s patented use of the glass bead or washer. These large spoons are followed by an equally impressive set of tell tale Mann Hooks. For the better part of most all John H Mann lures you will […]

2016-10-26T11:41:09+00:00 July 31st, 2016|Comments Off on John Mann Tandem Improved Trolling Spoon

Pflueger Flying Helgramite Vs Chapman Buel

Pflueger Flying Helgramite Vs Chapman Buel

This great little ad discusses the Pflueger Flying Helgramite Vs Chapman Buel. This comes to us from 1884, 137 years ago. Early advertising for lures mentioned in here such as the Crystal Minnow, and the Flying Helgramite are hard to come by so enjoy.

Pflueger Flying Helramite Vs Chapman Buel

To Anglers: The fishing tackle dealers supply you with a lot of things to delude the speckled beauties or the lively pickerel etc., but now an then, in certain kinds of water and weather, they fail to stir a fish. A new and enticing bait has been discovered: by The Enterprise Manufacturing Company, of Akron Ohio. It has been used to great purpose by a leading lawyer of that has been rusticating in the neighboring Dominion. His letter reads as follows:

Picton. Canada August 19th  Friend Pflueger, For the first time I today gave your Flying Helgramite a trial, and I gave it a thorough one. I went fishing with the Judge of this county, Judge Gillet and we had royal sport. My first capture was a seven pound black bass; afterwards we took in many between two and five pounds. My catch was pronounced by sports here unequaled. No one had ever seen a bass that size taken here. It was caught with your Flying Helgramite which I regard as a killing bait. I used it against a Buel and a Chapman Spoon and I Came out on top. Judge Gillet […]

2016-10-26T11:41:09+00:00 July 28th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger Flying Helgramite Vs Chapman Buel

Izaak Walton Colored Print

Izaak Walton Colored Print

This Izaak Walton Colored Print is one of my favorites. I posted the other week a Currier and Ives Colored Trout photo and got good reception, so I thought another piece of art was apropos. This dates to the mid 1800’s and was published by Dean and Company. There are as many renditions of Walton out there as there seem to be copies of his novel.

While he has a trout in his hand, his rod looks to be a skittering rod. Skittering was a type of fishing done that the lure or fly that was used is drawn across the top of the water. Usually done with a longer pole like this with the line tied to the end.

Izaak Walton Hand Colored Print

Izaak Walton Colored Print Izaak Walton Colored Print

2016-10-26T11:41:09+00:00 July 27th, 2016|Comments Off on Izaak Walton Colored Print

Pflueger Antique Fly Lure 1888

Pflueger Antique Fly Lure 1888

This Pflueger Antique Fly Lure 1888 ad is one of those that I found off the beaten path. Recording media has been done since the beginning of time, its just the mode, methods and the medium for transmission have change. I found this great old Pflueger Antique Fly Fishing lure ad in a magazine about old phonographs. The Phonograph itself was only invented just 9 years earlier in 1877. So while we always think to look in hunting and fishing themed media, this one shows us we can learn things about our hobby sometimes in strange places.

The ad, like many early Pflueger ads is sticking with the tradition of highlighting Pflueger’s luminous fishing lure qualities. Besides touting the Luminous fly qualities, the ad touts that it and Pflueger are endorsed by President Cleveland, who was know to have been quite a fisherman. I see quite a few early 1800’s antique lure ads that involve marketing Mr. and Mrs Cleveland and their sporting prowess.

Sent Free!                           Post Paid!


Luminous or Bass Trout Fly

With our 44 Page Catalog of Modern Styles

Fish Baits and Anglers Specialties, fro Price of Catalog 20 Cents.

A Vacation made Pleasant and Profitable ,

The Enterprise Manufacturing Co.

Akron Ohio


Pflueger Antique Fly Lure [...]
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2016-10-26T11:41:10+00:00 July 25th, 2016|Comments Off on Pflueger Antique Fly Lure 1888

Brook Trout Fishing Currier and Ives

Brook Trout Fishing Currier and Ives

This Brook Trout Fishing Currier and Ives is part of a series of lithographs I’ve always enjoyed. Currier and Ives created over 7500 different titled lithographs. They were made between 1834 to 1907. Some of their fly fishing and fishing series even appearing on calendars. The annals of American Fishing and Fly Fishing can not only be found and learned from written stories, but from images and art as well.

Lithography originally used an image drawn with oil, fat, or wax onto the surface of a smooth, level lithographic limestone plate. The stone was treated with a mixture of acid and gum arabic, etching the portions of the stone that were not protected by the grease-based image. When the stone was subsequently moistened, these etched areas retained water; an oil-based ink could then be applied and would be repelled by the water, sticking only to the original drawing. The ink would finally be transferred to a blank paper sheet, producing a printed page.

So this was quite a process in the days of old. In the first photo you can see he’s using a green heart type rod and a small 1-2 inch reel. In the second image its just the day spoils with a group of Brook Trout.

Im going to make this a regular weekly post, showing our fishing and fly fishing history through the use of Art. WHile I believe many of […]

2016-10-26T11:41:10+00:00 June 25th, 2016|Comments Off on Brook Trout Fishing Currier and Ives

Joliet Spinner Lure

Joliet Spinner Lure

The Joliet Spinner Lure was introduced around 1902.The Joliet Spinner would end up being made by both G. Bruton of Joliet, Illinois and later by New Jersey Aluminum Co. This metal spiral antique fishing lure is a simple twisting piece of metal that was offered in multiple sizes and had the patent stamped into the metal.The lure has a forward split ring and a rear feathered treble hook. The lure would rotate like a corkscrew when being retrieved through the water.

The antique lure in the gallery below is shown in the correct black box that had no writing, photo or description. The fishing lure is also accompanied by the card stating the size to which the lure would have been sewn. The box and card are much harder to locate than just the lure, making this a very desirable box and antique lure combination.

Joliet Spinner Lure Photo Gallery

2016-06-24T22:50:26+00:00 June 24th, 2016|Comments Off on Joliet Spinner Lure

Harlow Casting Spoon Lure

Harlow Casting Spoon Lure

The Harlow Casting Spoon Lure was patented in 1888. This Pre 1900’s fishing lure was made by John H Harlow, of auburn New York. The patent was for the use of the retractable hook and spoon. There isn’t very much info out there about Harlow.There are lures out there stamped with his name, usually kidney spoon or hook to spoon types.  However there are other lures out there that are attributed to him but not marked. There is also speculation of Harlow and a affiliation with Henry Loftie at the end of Loftie’s fishing tackle endeavors.

The Casting spoon itself is a horizontally stamped ribbed and fluted front and back. Running vertical in the center of the front is the Patent date, Fed 28, 88. The antique lure is usually found with a small box swivel already attached to the line tie. On the reverse of the antique fishing lure at the end of the line tie is the covered mechanism that allows the hook to retract behind the front pf the spoon.

The Casting spoon was also marketed by Reuben Wood’s Sons, and listed as the “Wood’s Crown Weedless Spoon”.

Harlow Casting Spoon Lure


2017-06-20T08:17:27+00:00 June 23rd, 2016|Comments Off on Harlow Casting Spoon Lure