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Thread: Fly tying materials 50 years ago?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Default Fly Tying

    My first attempt at fly tying was using a Ned Grey (spelling?) kit my dad gave me when I was 12 (1952). Wish I would've kept the vise. to compare with modern vises. I still have some materials from Hash's Here & Hackle....
    "America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won't cross the street to vote."

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  2. #12
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    Davis, CA, USA, Earth
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLJeff View Post
    And just think how fortunate we were. The people who tied flies before there were suppliers like Herter's and Hackle & Tackle. They had to find their own materials. They schmoozed chicken farmers, deer and duck hunters, picked up and skinned road kill. Finding a true grade A dry fly neck was probably a pretty rare occurrence back then.
    Yes, Eric Leiser had a book on getting your own materials, many years ago.

    We sold many of them....."Fly-Tying Materials" by Eric Leiser

    https://www.amazon.com/Fly-Tying-Mat.../dp/0832903337

    They seem to be cheap.......used.
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

  3. #13
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    There was no factory blended dubbings in 1970s.

    We sold patches of all kinds of natural fur.

    We also sold small electric coffee bean grinders to blend dubbing in.

    Som were starting to put synthetic materials in their natural dubbing.

    I guess before that people put fur they trimming off the hide into a Mason gar with water.

    Then they shook it up to blend it?
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

  4. #14
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    Default

    There were no commercial genetic hackle farms in the 1970s.

    We got rooster necks from China and India.

    I would buy 100 India dry fly necks from Creative Sports in Walnut Creek, CA.

    Hal Janssen should be how to grade them which was a great help.

    First you separate them buy colors: white, brown, coachman brown, ginger, light brown, cocabandi, badger.

    I would look at the hackle barb lengths/size, check stiffness against my upper lip and look at hackle stem length.

    10 out of the 100 might sell for $5.00, some went for $3.00 and the lowest ones went for $1.00

    I think we dyed hackle black and blue dun as there were not too many naturals.


    I had an old gas stove at my home and in the evenings I would dye necks and saddles in my boxer shorts.

    We heated the water, decreased the hackle, used Rit and Vineyard dyes.



    When I thought the hackle was dyed well enough we used vinegar to set the colors.

    I think all this is in Eric Leiser's book, Fly-Tying Materials.
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

  5. #15
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    I had an old gas stove at my home and in the evenings I would dye necks and saddles in my boxer shorts.
    Wouldn't an old pan or coffee can work better? Yuk, yuk, I still got it. You're absolutely right Bill, sourcing and dying your own was the only way to get tying materials for many of us. I used to have skins pinned out, salted and drying on my garage floor all the time. Pine squirrels, fox squirrels, a woodchuck, half an elk hide... the neighborhood kids all thought I was Daniel Boone.

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