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I’ve always enjoyed blogging at Fishing for History, and in 2013 when I started the Fishing for History magazine, I thought it had answered all my prayers. In truth, I had slowed down my blogging for several reasons, some personal, and others because I got tired of overseas entities copying my content and then selling it to article aggregation sites. “Why didn’t you use legal means to stop them?” you might ask. Well, you try initiating a lawsuit against an entity based in Bahrain. And even if I could win a costly legal battle (try hiring a bilingual lawyer), the chances of collecting are close to zero.
I did not miss a day blogging for something like seven years. Obviously, it was a big part of my life. One thing I learned the hard way, however, is you can’t do everything by yourself. This is why when Matt Lollman — founder of the really great “Fin & Flame” blog and web site — and myself started talking about combining forces, the idea
really intrigued me. After all, I had a decade’s worth of content that was mouldering (in part due to PhotoBucket’s unconscionable decision to ransom users for what was originally a free product) and could be Sixed […]
Angling Echoes This Fly and That Fly; Thad Norris was affectionately known as “Uncle Thad” to his legion of fans and readers. The author of one of the most important books on angling in American history — The American Angler’s Book (1864) — he was also a rod maker of genius and a talented fly tier as well. This is one of his numerous epistles on the fly tier’s art. — Ed.
THIS FLY AND THAT FLY
By Thaddeus Norris
A year or so back, when writing out the instructions for incipient fly tyers which appeared in your columns, I intimated, or perhaps threatened, an article on flies with the above title. I say threatened” because I am disposed, while I humor and laugh at the prejudices and notions of fly fishers, to chide them kindly for their fastidiousness on points that are not in the least essential. Mr. H. Cholmondely Pennell, an angler of long and varied experience, in his “Modern Practical Angler” declares that is it vanity and vexation of spirit, this multiplication of names and varieties of combinations of “fur and feather,” and settles down to three simple trout flies — if flies they can be called — and avers that they all meet all the necessities of the angler. These, as described and depicted in his books, are three simple, bristly-looking hackles — brown, yellow, and green — the butt of the hackle forming rather a bushy tail, and the remaining portion the legs of the so-called fly. Many old anglers who consider a great variety of flies, and this or that fly for a particular season, as sheer nonsense, and who seldom have more than six or eight varieties in their book, […]
Tight Lines Tuesday Trout Assortment by John Etchieson
Tight Lines Tuesday Trout Assortment; Finding a rare brand of fishing line that was made more than 85 years ago is almost impossible for a collector of antique fishing tackle to do these days and then finding the identity of the graphics artist that provided the image for the label is even harder still. But sometimes fate is kind and you find both within the very same week and you simply cannot believe your extreme good fortune. This rare “Trout Assortment” brand fishing line was introduced by the Newton Line Company of Homer, New York in the late 1920s and the artwork for both the line spool label and the cover of the Outdoor America magazine published in April 1927 were produced by the great outdoor writer and illustrator Charles Otis Wilson.
So, on this Tuesday I am feeling very fortunate indeed to add this little antique tackle treasure to my collection and to be able to identify both its artist and its age too.
Comments and questions may be sent to John at email@example.com
Sunday Reads Trout Fishing in the Rangeley Lakes; Edward Seymour was a classic Eastern “sport” — one of the those wealthy New Englanders who were among the first to frequent the nearly pristine wilderness of the northeast. His article reproduced here is widely considered one of the most important pieces of fishing literature of its time, important not just for influencing many others to try the fishing in Maine but also for its amazingly detailed description of life in a Rangeley camp. The article gave greater fame to the author when it was collected into a book of fishing essays in 1883, and as late as 1918 was being excerpted at length in major sporting magazines. It’s still a joy to read almost a century and a half after it was written and is a wealth of information to those seeking to understand fly fishing in the nineteenth century. — Ed.
TROUT-FISHING IN THE RANGELEY LAKES
By Edward Seymour
………..Before describing Camp Kennebago in detail, it may be as well to give in brief a sketch of the history of the Oquossoc Angling Association, of which organization this camp is the headquarters. So long as thirty years ago, a sportsman now and then worked his way through the wilderness to these lakes, but it is only within the last fifteen years that the Rangeley, Kennebago and Cupsuptuc Lakes, with the upper end of Mooselucmaguntic, have become at all well known to anglers. The Richardson Lakes — Welokenebacook and Molechunkemunk, with Umbagog, forming the lower lakes in the chain whence the Androscoggin River derives its mighty power — have for the last thirty or forty years been frequented by a score or more of Boston and New York gentlemen. […]
Several things I like about thisZangi 3V. First, its a classic Italian spinning reel. Second, its in a Taico box — a company best known for cheap Japanese imports. The American Import Co. (TAICO) did in fact import tackle from around the globe, not just Japan.
An old brass clamp reel is a classic early 19th century fishing reel. Kudos to the artistic photo!
Big Fish that got us at Sombrero Light Key; Bill DeWitt was a major figure in the fishing tackle trade from the 1930s through the 1950s. As owner of the Shoe Form Company in Auburn, New York, he opened Bill DeWitt Baits as a division of his firm and sold fishing lures and assorted tackle made of “pyra-shell,” a type of plastic. He also bought out a defunct hook making firm in Redditch, England and had the machines shipped to Auburn, where he manufactured fish hooks for over two decades. In this article, published in the Sporting Goods Dealer, he recounts a fishing trip to Florida. — Ed.
The Big Fish that got us at Sombrero Light Key
THERE is good fishing at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but the far-off waters look the more enticing, and we had a yen for the blue
waters and the big fish around Sombrero Light. So, about half an hour before dawn, we slipped away from our mooring on the New River, tingling with excitement, using our running lights and spotlight to find the channel and the markers. Our party consisted of Mrs. DeWitt, my friend, Dr. R.F. Johnson, the skipper and myself. Our departure had been preceded by the usual five or six days of frantic work in checking our craft, the “Caroline,” to be sure that motor, hull, steering apparatus, compass supplies, and cooking utensils were all ship-shape.
About 9 a.m., we passed Miami and we were on 12-mile course S1/2W through choppy Biscayne Bay. As we approached Featherbed Bank, Doc, who was peering through the binoculars to pick up the shoal markers, observed a large yacht. She was about two miles to starboard, and her ensign […]