I was looking for some help. My grandfarther was leo murray of Millinocket Maine. He tied flys for years - 1920s 30s, 40s, 50s. He was a Maine state licenced guide for the baxter park area. He use to do sporting shows in Maine and sell flys by the hundreds. His name on the fly card read L G Murray. I have a couple hundred of these trout, and salmon streamers still like new. little ones, big ones, two hooks, three hooks, four hooks, great colors and great detail, some have funny names. They are all on cards and are all old as he died in 1964 and did not tie flys for a number of years before he died. I have a news paper artical showing this and my mom say,s people all over new England, US and some from over sea's would buy his fly's. They would write to him and he would tie them special for them. The question is what to do with them all and of coures his book or sales catalog book. Some of the flys I cant even find there names anywhere. They are going to die if not in the right hands any help would be great. Thanks GVC
Does Maine have a fly fishing museum? I know a lot of famous flies and tyers came from that State so perhaps there is such a place? That is where they would receive the best care and recognition in my opinion, though they are obviously an important family heirloom...
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If you simply wish to share the work you could post photographs of the flies along with their names on sites like this forum. Tiers such as myself would in all likelihood replicate the patterns and since they are original work of Mr. Murry we would retain the name of the fly and credit the originator as opposed to claiming the patterns as our own.
You could also contact the Maine State Historical Society to see if they would be interested in having some specimens for display withing the areas of Greenville, Jackman, and Millinocket. These would be towns close to where Mr. Murry lived, guided , and practiced his tying craft. This would perhaps be my first venue if I were seeking to establish a legacy for his fly tying skills.
There is also the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum, they may be interested in some specimens of the work and whatever historical evidence you may have pertaining to Mr. Murry's experiences and accomplishments.
If your grandfather, L. G. Murray, was tying flies in the 30's, 40's and 50's, then he was a contemporary of another very famous Maine fly tyer named Carrie Stevens. Carrie, from Upper Dam, Maine popularized the Rangeley Streamer, which is a feather streamer characterized, generally, by paired feather wings, shoulders and cheeks. For a look at Carrie's streamer patterns, try the below link, it may help you identify if your grandfather's streamers were tied in the Rangeley style or if they were tied more in what people refer to as the New England streamer style.
There is a new museum that has just opened in the Rangeley area (see the link below). It's called the Rangeley Outdoor Museum and I would think that they would be very interested in the collection of flies that were tied by your grandfather and would probably exhibit them proudly. I suggest that you get in touch with them, tell them about your flies and see how they would like to proceed.
Scroll down to the 8th picture in this link and you'll find the fly.
If I were you, I'd have a look at your grandfather's flies and see if you can find one that looks like the one in the picture (except the wing is apt to be a feather instead of the bucktail in Smith's version). If you can, then that would be a very good indication/confirmation that your grandfather was a well know tyer (which fits with the fact that people used to order flies from him).
All of this would increase the value of the collection that you are describing; whether you plan to donate it or sell it to a private collector.
I'll see if I can find a picture of the Murray streamer in feather wing form and, if so, I'll post it to this thread.
Thank you for all the info --Pocono I looked at the fly you mentioned it seems to be one of them. I have found an article (the katahdin regions flytying pros) This is the Katahdin Times news paper dated April 3rd 2001 by Bill Levesque From millinocket Maine --It has a lot of info and says Quote-Probably the most notable tier of the 50s was Leo Murray Proficient fly tier and custom rod builder. He had a shop on Elm street in Millinocket out of his home. His flies and rods where high in demand from people through out the state of Maine. The article also mentions Carrie Stevens, Bobby Goodwin, Pappy Gallagher, Patty Nugent, Alvin Theriault, Gregg Butch Barker, George Trout Murphy, Joe Brickham, Bubba Davis, and Jim Thibodeau. The article was a special in the news paper. The photo shows Leo Murray at a sportsman show in the fifties with all the flys plus tons of birds on the back wall in which the feathers came from. It show the book I have also. Leo is set up and tying for people. He was in a wheelchair from a earlyer car accident. I think I will try to get these in the hands of collectors -- I will post a few so you can see how they are and I will scan this article at the office next week and post it so you all can see what I mean. Unfortunatly I'm not a fly fishing person. I will see what the future brings. I spend my time digging grouper in the gulf as I live in Florida. Thanks
You might have a gold mine. Don't get took by buyers. There are several artistic fly tyers that tie $500 to $1000 flies to match what they did in the early 1900. Some of the feathers alone cost them big bucks.
I guess what I am saying is make sure you understand what you want to do with this collection, it could be priceless.
I know of a guide in Toas that ties $75 to $200 flies. He works for Solitue Anglers in Toas NM. Call them up to talk to him. I am sure he could direct you to reputable collectors or individuals that could tell you the price.
Thanks crittergetter Do you have a name or contact person that would be a big help. There are also a hundred or so of these nymps and or furry smaller flys even little masquitoes. I say smaller because the streamers are 3 to 3 1/2 inches long. There are lots of different ones I am going to put some of them on a site so you all can see them. In a couple of days I can get my techy to help. Thanks Dominic
I can not rember his name. I will see if I can chase down his card. It is on my desk somewhere. The number to call is Toll Free 1.866.502.1700 or 575-776-5585. Van Beachans is very well known and the two people that run the store are great. Here is their site Fly Fishing in the Taos NM area, also Colorado and Wyoming. They had some of this guides fly's for sale on the wall they will know his name.
.... I think that you'd be better off staying local
Interest (and value) will be much higher
Try asking on the Fly Fishing In Maine forum.
Also you may want to contact a local shop or two
I suggest the Maine Guide Fly Shop in Greenville and the Rangeley Region Sport Shop in Rangeley
They may know some collectors, or buy them outright
Just don't expect to see the prices mentioned above
An even better option might be Lang's Sporting Collectables http://www.langsauction.com/
They have a big tackle auction coming up in April and they take consignments
Last April they auctioned off a good number of Carrie Stevens original streamers
They averaged about $200 each
Flies from other 'famous' fly tyers such as Lee Wulff, Harry Darbee, and E.R. Hewitt went for far less
Great resource RIP. Langs will surely know somebody that can appraise the fly collection.
Just find somebody that is knowledgeable in artistic fly's.
I read or heard somewhere that these artistic tiers will purchase feathers from museums on extinct birds so they can match the traditions of the past. Your granddads streamers could be on the same level of those artistic flies. Some of these flys take hours to tie.
PS... I am still looking for the guides name in Toas NM. But my filing system is one step away for chaotic.