Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
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quashnet
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Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by quashnet »

I received an unexpected and generous gift today from Dana Gray of the Carlson Rod Co.

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The fly is fascinating, but the most significant part of the gift is the paper label tag for identification of a customer's order of flies. I have never before seen a fly tag printed for the Paul H. Young Co. You can see a hole in the tag, indicating that a fly, perhaps this one, was once attached to it. Space available to write the number (internal business code for different patterns? or just the number of flies ordered?) and size (probably hook size) remains unfilled.

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Penciled on the back of the tag we see "3349" (an internal business code for a particular fly pattern?) and "8 - 12¢ - D2", which seems to indicate a hook size of 8 and a price of twelve cents. But what does "D2" mean?

The fly that accompanied the tag was in a group of items, including other flies, some of which were not in great shape. The hook is pretty large; it could be a size 8. But it is possible that this fly is not actually a PHY fly linked to this tag. Does anyone recognize the pattern? What feather is that wing made from?

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Checking PHY catalogs and fly lists indicates that a price of twelve cents pretty much limits the time period to the 1930s and the Depression. Young and a group of local suppliers tied flies for sale, including the patterns for which he became known, such as the Bivisible, spentwing versions of the Adams and other Michigan patterns, and the Strawman nymph. Young also imported English flies. Dana received these items following the death of an angler friend in his 90s.

Any thoughts and insights concerning the fly and the tag would be much appreciated.
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catskilljohn
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Re: Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by catskilljohn »

Without a doubt, its American jay for the wings, the very tips of the secondary wing feathers. That's a cool fly for sure, one that I would need to do a little research on before I blurt out a pattern :D Would the rib be tarnished tinsel or is it floss,wool,thread,etc? Could the D2 be actually be Dz, and mean .12 a dozen? I know that contradicts what your catalogs state. CJ
"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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quashnet
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Re: Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by quashnet »

The rib appears to be extremely tarnished flat tinsel. There are a few wraps at the bend of the hook, not visible in these photos, that form a sort of tag, from which the body overwrap originates. I like "dozen" as an interpretation of the last two characters in that line, though twelve cents a dozen seems impossible. During the 1930s Paul H. Young retailed some of his dry flies for $1.50 per dozen, or twelve-and-a-half cents per fly. Years later, in a private note to a friend and mentor, Young wrote that fly tying revenue had carried his business through the Depression.
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catskilljohn
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Re: Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by catskilljohn »

12 cents a dozen seems too inexpensive even for that time period. The reason I thought "dozen" and not "two" was that the 2 in 12 cents has a loop at the bottom, and the D2 [or Z?] does not. I am looking for a possible name for this dressing, as I hope a few other do too. CJ

ps...what magic do you perform to type the "cents sign" on your post? I cant find it on my keyboard :lol:
"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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quashnet
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:33 am

Re: Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by quashnet »

I agree with the handwriting difference between "2" and "Z." It's only a matter of relating "dozen" to price. Of course, I'm assuming that "8" refers to hook size and is thus irrelevant in this regard, but I could be wrong.

On a Macintosh: Finder -> Edit -> Special Characters
You get access to all sorts of currency symbols, pictographs, Latin, unusual punctuation, etc. Pick what you want and drop it into your text.

Would Jay have been legal to use for commercial flies, given the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act?
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Bud
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Re: Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by Bud »

CJ---

On a PC, "all" you gotta do is turn on Num Lock, hold down the Alt key, and type 0162. Presto! (or Presto?): ¢.

Then you forget to turn off Num Lock and all the direction keys turn into numbers.

There's a full set of Alt-key codes at http://www.tedmontgomery.com/tutorial/altchrc.html.

In my part of the forest, there's a theory guy who gets quoted a lot who's named Slavoj Žižek. I spend lots of time forgetting to turn off Num Lock. :twisted:

--Bud
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
-- Marx (Groucho)

catskilljohn
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Location: Yardley,PA- Jeffersonville,NY

Re: Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by catskilljohn »

quashnet wrote: Would Jay have been legal to use for commercial flies, given the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act?
No, after 1918 all songbirds were protected. I wish we could use that to date the fly, but back then you dont know how quickly tyers responded to the "new" law. Jay was a not such a common wing material, used mainly on the fancy bass flies in the 1800's, your example as it being used on a dry is unusual [and rare!] for that reason.

Considering that, and the possiblity of the name tag not going with that fly, could it in fact be older and pre-date Young? I hope not, cause I would love it to be from him, for your sake :D
"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"

redietz
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Location: Central MD

Re: Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by redietz »

Maybe it's 12 cents each if you buy a dozen.

Maybe he contracted out and bought a dozen himself wholesale.
Bob

ted patlen
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Re: Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by ted patlen »

it is a fascinating piece regardless of who tyed it. i would assume that it was not tied by paul young himself as it was a custom of various companies like hardy and mills to take a few samples tied at their factories and sent them around as business dictated.

i have never seen an original paul young tied fly so i couldn't say that the fly in question is from his hands. it would have to be put next to some originals for comparison purposes.

as for the pattern...there were a few blue jay patterns in bergmans book and one that is very similar to the fly shown. i think it was the blue jay, using eurasian jay, not north american, and ph tippets as a tail instead of orange hackle or hair

anyway, many fancy flies were tied in many styles. i have seen the silver doctor tyed as a salmon fly, dry fly, wet , streamer, bucktail, bass bug, salt water , and nymph.

this may be the case here.

great find!!!!!!

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quashnet
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Re: Possible Paul H. Young dry fly, needs I.D.

Post by quashnet »

Maybe he contracted out and bought a dozen himself wholesale.
Young believed in contracting out. He was great at coordinating others' efforts. He taught local people to tie flies for him, the one best known to me being Hazel Johnson, whom Bob Summers told me about. I'm going to write Summers this morning about the fly and tag, and ask what he remembers.

So, is this tag a retail tag (such as I have seen on Alex Martin parachute flies where the tag displays a patent number) or is it an in-house tag linked to contracting? I'm leaning toward retail because of the phrase "made by." This is a phrase directed outward toward a customer, not inward toward record keeping of which tier provided which lots of flies. But it's a puzzler given that I have never seen a PHY tag before. I have done a lot of research on PHY but there is always something new that pops up.
could it in fact be older and pre-date Young? I hope not, cause I would love it to be from him, for your sake
I am fortunate enough to have collected a few PHY flies over the years, including some of his classic patterns, so I am OK with however the detective story turns out! The real prize here for me is the tag.

When I think about the Young flies that I have, I realize that this one doesn't quite fit in with the others. I can't think of another one with such an emphasis of brightly-dyed hackle, in addition to the unusual jay winging.

This is a May 1933 magazine ad from the PHY Co. promoting their flies. Note the pricing:

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Here are three PHY classic flies: a Strawman nymph above, with a "Redhead" fly made from squirrel tail and a Brown Bivisible. No use of dye for materials.

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