Tight Lines Tuesday The Swastika

Tight Lines Tuesday The Swastika
by John Etchieson

Tight Lines Tuesday The Swastika; The Swastika was not always an evil symbol – 100+ years ago in 1914 this very rare “Speckled Beauty” fly fishing line featuring the lithographic image of a leaping Brown Trout was introduced and sold by the Ashaway Line and Twine Company of Ashaway Rhode Island under their “Swastika Brand” trade mark. Ashaway had been using the U S registered “Swastika Brand” trade mark for at least nine years prior to that time since its meaning was both symbolic of, and synonymous with “good luck” or “good fortune” in the popular culture and also with their fishing customers who often relied upon a little luck as much as skill to catch fish.

In fact, the Swastika had conveyed this same positive meaning universally for more than 3000 years and had been used as decoration in many different cultures around the world including the native American Indians; and it can even be found still today adorning the architecture of ancient Buddhist temples and ancient Jewish synagogues around the world. This 3000 year old “Good Luck” Swastika symbol obviously only became corrupted and turned into an evil symbol after Adolph Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and his Nazi Party’s Swastika became Germany’s official national symbol until 1945. Coincidentally, 1933 was the last year that the Ashaway Line and twine Company was to ever again use their Good Luck “Swastika Brand” trade mark. It was retired after Hitler usurped it and it was replaced by Ashaway with another less offensive logo and trade mark. This “Speckled Beauty” fly fishing line is 1 of only 4 known to have survived these past 100+ years and is considered an extremely rare item to be found among the collectors of antique fishing tackle today.

Comments or questions may be sent to John at

2017-11-14T07:06:46+00:00 November 14th, 2017|Antique Lures, Antique Reels, Collectible Fishing Empherma (Books, Catalogs, Photos, Etc)|Comments Off on Tight Lines Tuesday The Swastika

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 Seymour,GEORGE G. Cooper, and R. B. Roosevelt
were appointed Commissioners of Fisheries.

These gentlemen at once engaged the services of Mr. Seth Green and set him at work to restock the Hudson River with shad, and save to the people a food source which bade fair to be presently exhausted.

Mr. GREEN selected for his work a location on the right bank of the Hudson, some four miles above the town of Coeymans. At this a low island affords protection from wind the wash of passing steamboats. It is convenient to some of the best fishing grounds of the river. The fish are taken by seine at night. The ova is gently pressed from the female (if ready for spawning) into a pan of water kept in gentle motion. Care is taken not to injure the shad before spawning it. The male shad is made to evolve sufficient milt to impregnate the eggs, which seem instantly to lose their opacity, and become crystals of more than double their un-impregnated size. From the pans they go to the hatching-boxes contrived by Mr. Green a simple wooden box of fifteen by twenty-two inches, fitted with a wire bottom, and arranged with strips of wood fastened on each side to float with the wire bottom at such an angle to the tidal current as will keep the eggs in continual motion, with the exception of a short time at the changing of the tides, when it is necessary to occasionally shake the boxes to keep the spawn […]

2017-08-21T17:03:39+00:00 August 21st, 2017|19th Century Fishing Lures, Antique Lures, Collectible Fishing Empherma (Books, Catalogs, Photos, Etc)|Comments Off on Harpers Weekly April 1872

Louis Rhead Obituary

Louis Rhead Obituary

This Louis Rhead Obituary was printed by the same newspaper the Rhead had penned and contributed for decades earlier. His range was from fly Fishing the Gentleman’s Trout to landing the Gamy Black Bass and wrestling the Muskie from the deep. Rhead was born in England in 1857 and would pass in 1926 at the age of 69. Rhead lived a life befitting of his talents, how ironic or apropos was it then “Nature” something that gave Rhead purpose, subject and a foundation of which to use for inspiration would ultimately be mentioned in the casualty of his death. For Rhead, nature, and the species it’s cast of characters within, would provide a lifes study, a lifes work. Rhead was an artist in the true purest sense, for his expressions were not only displayed and read during his life, but generations after his death. From Children to Anglers to Naturalists the subject and audience & world would benefit.

Fight with Turtle Hastened Death of Louis Rhead

Heart Attack Followed Over Exertion by Noted Amityville Angler-Artist

Louis Rhead, widely known as an artist and angler, died suddenly of heart disease at his home here yesterday. It is believed that overexertion brought on the heart attack that caused his death. 

Mr. Rhead , formerly a Brooklyn-ite, took up fishing as a hobby. It came to be one of his greatest interests and he wrote two books on trout “American Trout Stream Insects” and “Fishermen’s Lures and Trout Stream Insects”. He selected Amityville as the spot for the pursuit of his studies of fish and aquatic insects. 

About two weeks ago, Mr. Rhead set out to capture a large turtle which had been devastating his trout ponds at his place, Seven Oaks. The turtle put up a stubborn fight after it was hooked and although Mr. Rhead was successful in landing it he was completely exhausted. A short time afterword he suffered a heart attack. 

Louis Rhead Obituary

Louis Rhead Obituary

Louis Rhead Obituary Louis Rhead 1926 Obituary

2017-08-11T13:02:44+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Antique Lures, Collectible Fishing Empherma (Books, Catalogs, Photos, Etc), Fly Fishing|Comments Off on Louis Rhead Obituary

Heddon Tiny Teaz Fly Lure

Heddon Tiny Teaz Fly Lure

The Heddon Tiny Teaz Fly Lure was first introduced in 1930. This pint sized Heddon lure, made in Dowagiac Michigan was very short lived. While introduced in 1930 this lure would disappear into obscurity by 1934 and not even make the lure line up catalog that year. This tiny little trout, bass, and other small game fish minnow was made of wood, measuring 1 3/4″ in length. This antique lure was assigned a model 80 if your lucky enough to find a matching box.

The lure has small painted eyes, a single tiny line tie at the front of the lure inset into the slightly concave mouth. You wont have to worry about throwing your back out carrying around this guy to fish with as he weighs in at just around 1/10th of an ounce. The lure would certainly float when not being drawn through the water. The catalog states “A lively little lure of many uses. Primarily designed as a fly-rod lure for large Trout, it is also very effective for Bass and pan fish. Floats and dives when retrieved with excellent action. One double hook so placed to insure hooking.”

As far as color schemes go, you can find the Heddon Tiny Teaz Fly Fishing Lure in a half dozen color finishes.

01 – Rainbow
02 – Red & White
BK – Brook Trout
N – Dace
P – Shiner Scale (Shown Below)
R – Natural Scale

Heddon Tiny Teaz Lure Photo Gallery

2017-08-07T07:58:52+00:00 July 24th, 2017|Antique Lures, Fly Rod Lures, Heddon Lures|Comments Off on Heddon Tiny Teaz Fly Lure

Kimmich Mouse Antique Lure

Kimmich Mouse Antique Lure

The Kimmich Mouse Antique Lure was first introduced in 1929. This antique fishing lure invented by Harry Kimmich of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. Harry (John) Kimmich was not a lure inventor full-time. He owned a tire shop downtown, the “Kimmich Tire Shop.” We see this with a lot of miscellaneous lure makers, while it was in their heart and in their work, it just was hard to make a long time income out of it. Such is the story of many artisans and was also of the Kimmich mouse, as it wouldn’t be around very long, less than a decade.

The Kimmich Special Mouse lure has a wooden head and beaded glass eyes. The back half of the lure was a stacked or died hair as shown with both examples. There was even a version of the mouse that was a hairless wooden mouse lure. The lure had one treble hook attached at the center of the body using a screw eye hanger and the rear hanging from the rear of the bait.  The Kimmich Mouse had a forward line tie and a diving lip.

The Kimmich examples below are both shown in their respective boxes. The lure and box combos are accompanied by the corresponding paperwork stating the feature function and benefits of use of the Kimmich Special Mouse. On one long end flap the box states, “A Mouse Bucktail Bait with real Motion. The Big Fellows Just Cant Pass It Up.” On the opposite end it states, “The Bait The Old Timers Have Been Waiting For.”

Kimmich Mouse Antique Lure Photo Gallery

Kimmich Mouse Lure Photo Gallery

2017-06-23T07:12:13+00:00 June 23rd, 2017|Antique Lures, Miscellaneous Lure Makers|Comments Off on Kimmich Mouse Antique Lure

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 have on him, his friends, their stories, or leads pointing to information, I would welcome.

For over a decade, I’ve always wanted to find a way to give Sam his adue, and while doing it would hope I could stumble upon the missing link to the American fishing lure, reel or rod industry. Therein lies the irony to this whole story, because without Sam, the entire American Fishing history would change. At a minimum, black bass fishing at the least in the North East part of the country, and especially Massachusetts, may never have evolved as it did. One can intelligibly argue and conclude, had it not been for Sam, a negative effect on the New England fishery may have occurred or at least have taken decades longer to progress. Not just for Black Bass, but for those involved in fly fishing, for trout, or Salters as well. I also would note, if not for our stately friend, and his wide berth of friends, who’s specific contributions to the finny tribe, and their subsequent teachings may have changed fishing as we know it.

I could assimilate Sam’s story to the Christmas story classic “It’s a wonderful Life” where George, wonders what might have been without him.

So as time has a way to escape us, I’ve been waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop for many years.  All it took was me taking the advice I gave to someone else recently;  “There is always a greater story, its just how you turn your head to […]

Heddon Gamby Lure

Heddon Gamby Lure

The Heddon Gamby Lure was part of a spinning series lure introduced around 1955. The Heddon Gamby produced in Dowagiac, Michigan was given a model series number 421 and 423. The 421 can be differentiated by the length and measures 2 3/4″ while the 423 measures 3 3/4″ in length. The lure was in production for only a very short time between 1955 and 1958. Shown in the Gallery below the lure was sold on a store counter display.

Gamby Spinner

For Spinning and Trolling
This spinning lure features a spinning blade designed to start at a whisper and spin very close to its axis. Also the body is keel shaped to add extreme stability and prevent line twist. Couple these two features together and you have a deadly lure for trout and bass, as well as a most productive bait for all game fish. Hooks are extra sharp for sure hooking even on light strikes. Excellent for trolling. Made in 1/4 and 1/8th oz sizes.

Heddon Gamby Lure Gallery

2016-12-21T08:37:43+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Antique Lures, Heddon Lures|Comments Off on Heddon Gamby Lure

Heddon Meadow Mouse Lure

Heddon Meadow Mouse Lure

The Heddon Meadow Mouse Lure was first introduced in 1929. This Heddon mouse lure made in Dowagiac Michigan would last for more than half a century in the antique lure line up. This fishing lure the wooden enameled version is a series number 4000. This antique lure measures 2 3/4″ in length and was made of wood. The antique lure featured leather ears which are screwed into the bait and tail for life like decoration. The lure has black bead eyes, a pin inserted into the nose. The Heddon Meadow Mouse has a forward line tie attached below the pin and a scripted metal diving lip to help it dive down to it’s prey.

To catch its prey it employs the use of a double forward hook forward of the mid-line of the lure inset and attached with Heddon’s L Rig Hardware in the version below. The lure also had a trailing single hook just below the leather tail. The lure can be found with both stenciled and un-stenciled belly versions.

The Meadow Mouse was available in only a few colors, two of 3 which are shown in the catalog cut below, as well as in the galleries.

Some More Favorite Fish Getters

New! A Fur Finished Mouse Bait No. F4000 Meadow Mouse

Lifelike in shape, ears, eyes and tail, this new Fur Finished mouse has the final touch of a coat of fur that duplicates a mouses skin. A dandy bait for bass especially. Floats, dives when retrieved, and swims lively. Regularly equipped with two treble hooks, but can be supplied with a double and a single as illustrated. Weight 2/8 oz Length 2 3/4″ inches.

Heddon Meadow Mouse Lure Catalog Cut Heddon Meadow Mouse Lure Catalog Cut

Heddon Meadow Mouse Lure Photo Gallery

2016-12-13T08:41:26+00:00 November 19th, 2016|Antique Lures, Heddon Lures|Comments Off on Heddon Meadow Mouse Lure

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