Theroe wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:29 am
This needed a bump, for those of you who might have missed it!
bearbutt wrote: ↑
Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:29 am
Something about arcane hooks:
Not long ago I picked up something interesting at an angling auction: Datus Proper's travel fly tying kit. His book "What the Trout Said" is pretty good--he talks a lot about various issues related to fly design, and also talks a lot about hooks--complains most are inconsistently sized, a fact we all learn sooner or later. Proper believed every fisherman should tie. And he also believed that one should tie often, even when traveling on fishing trips. "In earlier centuries, every competent fisherman carried his 'book' of silk, feathers, hooks, and scraps of dubbing," Proper wrote in "What the Trout Said." Such a book need not be large, he explained. His own kit, he said, "measures only six inches long by four inches high by two-and-on-half-inches thick, fully stuffed. It is very well made of pigskin. It has a box for tools and thread, six envelopes for other materials, an end pocket in the actual pigskin, two parchment envelopes (with six pockets in each) which I sewed up myself for dubbing, and a sturdy strap around the whole thing. The kit carries the old American 'Common sense' label." I have posted a few of these photos before, but will post them again with some new ones:
I have to say I was surprised when I bought the little pigskin wallet, as I had not realized it was the actual one he wrote about.
It's small, as he said:
It has the homemade dubbing pockets he sewed using parchment:
The sleeves are filled with small bits of fur, hackle, and feathers--even a square inch of polar bear:
And some of the hook packets are cool, Veniard hooks! Also some hooks I had not heard about before: Saville hooks in size 17, and Partridge Skues sneck hooks in size 15—Proper, like the Darbees, was partial to numerically odd hooks:
The Skues hooks are reversed—I can’t say I have noticed it ever makes a difference. But I do like the vintage Veniard hooks quite a lot--.
Totally agreed! In fact, bb's description and photos of Datus Proper's traveling fly tying kit should be programmed for "autopost" approximately monthly forever. Proper's What the Trout Said
is, in my opinion, the best fly tying instructional book ever written. And, it does not contain a single fly pattern. Instead, it discusses fly design ... what works, why it works, and how to present such flies. Proper was a scientist and experimentalist at heart. He systematically varied fly designs little by little and recorded the results -- good, bad, or indifferent. His conclusions came after many such trials over long periods of time. *Trout* told Proper what worked, hence the name of the book, which contains tremendous insights into fly design and fly fishing.
Last summer, I drove the full length of Hyalite Creek near Bozeman MT, which was Proper's home water, as somewhat of a pilgrimage. I imagined his presence each evening testing his latest hypotheses about fly effectiveness. Hyalite Creek was where Datus Proper died in 2003 at the much-too-young age of 69 after falling while fishing and hitting his head on a rock. So sad. Proper's spirits live on in his magnificent book and likely in the traveling fly tying kit that bb now owns.