Re: Old Fly Fishing Magazines
I never had a subscription to any of them, but the neighbor across the street had every issue of Field and Stream published to that date which he'd let me read on his front porch. It was F & S that got me interested in fly fishing at a young age, and a fly casting exhibition by Jack Sharkey and Ted Williams at the Miami sportsman's show in the mid-late 50's that solidified the interest.
That was the first time I'd ever seen a fly rod - though from a good distance away. Though I never got a subscription to any of them, I read F&S, Outdoor Life, and Sports Afield in barber shops, Dr. offices, and librarlies regularly from then on. Taps Tips, Ted Trueblood, Ed Zern, Pat McManus always were read first. I learned to fly cast from artist illustrated articles in two issues of F&S in 1957 I think it was The second came out shortly after the first (possibly successive issues) and was an article on how to double haul. I had also learned through reading about Bug tapers (or maybe Bass tapers) and had bought a GBF and was soon making cork poppers from a kit I got for Christmas with the rod.
My best friend, a Seminole Indian I played football with on the town 13 and under football team also became enchanted with the fly and bought a rig. $12. for everything but the WF line which was extra. We would sneak out into the 'Glades, catching tons of bass. Our "Glades escapades finally ended when I got bit by a "cottonmouth" water mocassin during a snake catching contest with another of my buddies when fishing was slow. Thereafter, our bass fishing was confined primarily to the Miami Springs golf course and canals closer to home.
Without the reading, especially the excellent, well-illustrated article on the doublehaul, and seeing a fly being cast at the sportsman show, I doubt I'd ever have picked up a fly rod. I didn't meet another fly fishermen until I took a job in Rangeley, Maine in about 1970.
The power of the word (and pictures) to stir the imagination, especially of the young, is truly powerful.
Good luck on your article.
PS: EDIT David, I'm almost positive Retch was Pat Mc Manus' sidekick. The name "Sweeny" sticks out in my mind as well and may have been Retch's last name.
Last edited by wjc; 12-13-2012 at 10:23 AM.