Know of any other "Sparses"?

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JeffOYB
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:40 pm

Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by JeffOYB »

Hi all... I tie a little, since I was a kid. Just stopping by here because I just ran into something interesting to me that I wanted to bounce off of you guys.

I just bought a copy of a 1895 edition of "Woodcraft" by Nessmuk. Nifty little book.

Here's the wrinkle. The dedication inside reads:

" To Sparse --

who, like Nessmuk,
has slept under the stars
and seen the glory of the rising sun.

Dick

8/8/59 "


...The only "Sparse" I ever heard of is this group's namesake!

The shoe seems to fit. Date isn't off. Or, is Sparse some sort of semi-common nickname somewhere? Did Sparse have a pal named Dick?

Well, it's one of my all-time favorite books, anyway.

Thanks for any thoughts, Jeff Potter
(outyourbackdoor.com)

Allan
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Re: Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by Allan »

Alfred Miller, aka 'Sparse Grey Hackle' wrote, FISHLESS DAYS ANGLING NIGHTS. It is one of the renown American fly fishing books. Great stories so it is a MUST read.

Allan

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ewpeper
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Location: Austin, TX and Island Park, ID

Re: Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by ewpeper »

I too have a copy of the 1895 edition of Woodcraft -- wonderful little book that was my father's. I'm sure Allan's reference is correct as Mr. Miller is certainly the only "Sparse" I ever knew. Incidentally, I own Sparse's copy of Harold Smedley's Fly Patterns And Their Origins, loaded with Sparse's annotations, which are often just hysterical.

Eric
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

JeffOYB
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:40 pm

Re: Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by JeffOYB »

Yeah, I figured if it was written to "Bill" then who knows who it was. But "Sparse"? I only know of one! Kinda hard to imagine another. I was also curious if maybe Sparse was good pals with a "Dick" -- that would give even more confidence in the dedication... But Dick is common. Now, if it was signed "Tap," or "AJ," say...

Allan
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by Allan »

JeffOYB wrote: I was also curious if maybe Sparse was good pals with a "Dick" -- that would give even more confidence in the dedication... But Dick is common.
I just reread your question and here's a guess. Mind you I'm saying this is just a guess. I wonder if the 'Dick' is Dick Talleur who would have been about 28 in 1959. Both from NY and I believe fished the same area. Perhaps they struck up a friendship back then?

Jeff S
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:03 pm

Re: Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by Jeff S »

Hi Folks,

I thought it was about time to register after all these years of lurking. Sparse was a close friend of Richard P. Salmon, "Dick".
Both were members of the DeBruce Club. They shared a room as bunk mates back in the day and that room now has plaques at the entrance with their names on it. I was told by a friend who is a founding member that there were some wonderful conversations on the front porch after a day's fishing. Dick was in the literary field, an editor or publisher of one of the major magazines as I recall. He also published a book of various fly tying materials, unique because aside from a description of the material he included a sample of each attached to the side margin. Of course the book was a limited edition and certainly not cheap. If I can recall correctly it sold for $350back in the mid 80s. I believe Richard Liu is presently resurrecting the project in conjunction with the museum.

HTH,
Jeff Sanders

catskilljohn
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Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by catskilljohn »

Jeff,

Thank you for that insightful answer to this mans puzzle, thats probably the quickest detective work I have ever seen! CJ

ps...thanks for making yourself know to the masses too, your loved by all at the shows, but no-one knows who you are when your a lurker ;)

pps...also, that book with the materials, I think the Leonard Rod Company used to offer those for sale, they were very expensive.
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

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ewpeper
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Location: Austin, TX and Island Park, ID

Re: Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by ewpeper »

Tho' they could hardly have been contemporaries, I think "Dick" may also have been the first name of the man whose pen name was "Nessmuk."

On the Dick Salmon book, I recall sitting in his home on the Hudson one day while he was "building" the books. The magnitude of the task and the care with which he approached it were overwhelming. And I did see an offer somewhere recently from Allen Liu seeking a partnership in constructing the last remaining copies.

I never got to witness the interplay between Dick Salmon and Sparse at the DeBruce Club, but more than once did sit around the table inside tying flies and chatting with Dick and Walt Tarradash. Those were wonderful days.

Eric
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

JeffOYB
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:40 pm

Re: Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by JeffOYB »

Thanks for the interesting history insights!

Who knows whether I have the same Sparse and Dick or not but it's wonderful lore and I appreciate it! : )

Characters, projects, clubhouses, porches ... can't beat em!

Nessmuk was George Washington Sears and a real character himself!

Thanks all... JP

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ewpeper
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Location: Austin, TX and Island Park, ID

Re: Know of any other "Sparses"?

Post by ewpeper »

JeffOYB wrote:Thanks for the interesting history insights!

Who knows whether I have the same Sparse and Dick or not but it's wonderful lore and I appreciate it! : )

Characters, projects, clubhouses, porches ... can't beat em!

Nessmuk was George Washington Sears and a real character himself!

Thanks all... JP
Thanks for that clarification on Nessmuk. Had to have been a senior moment. And yes, he had a "way" about him. Reminded me of those people about whom I've said, "Occasionally wrong, but never in doubt." Notwithstanding that, the book is a jewel.

Eric
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

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