I am working on a short story and wondered if the "more seasoned" of you could help me out with some detail. What fly fishing magazines do you recall from the late 1950s, early 1960s? What did you read? What periodicals or books inspired you to start the sport around that time?
Research aside, this might be a fun conversation on its own...
Interested in any data from the 1940's? Main magazine read was Outdoor Life
but also read Sport's Afield, Field & Stream, Hunting & Fishing, Fur Fish & Game plus a few others that I can't recall the names of. Got interested in the Fly Fishing articles which opened the door to this great Sport.
Mike ,I've only got magazines from 70s and 80s...wrote articles,reports and short stories for two.One was called Fly Tying Magazine and the other Plaisirs de la Pêche...they have both disappeared.When Plaisir de la Pêche had to close down,the owner commited suicide...sad story indeed.
I can send you some magazines or copies of some articles if it pleases you
Good to hear from ya, the first outdoor magazines I ever saw were Field & Stream - Outdoor Life. That was the mid sixties, by 1978 I started a subscription to Gray's Sporting Journal. The writing in Gray's was memorably better and the articles were more substantial. I used to raise Pointers for upland bird hunting and hunted Wild Turkey and White Tail, even a few ducks now and then. Gray's, along with occasional articles on fly fishing the journal had some of everything. I have to say "memorably better" was a good choice of wording earlier. I kept them coming until the late 90's.
Wasn't it Field & Stream that featured a one pager each month detailing a near tragic situation in the field. Usually someone got between a sow and her cubs or was charged by a doe. It was the first article I read and had to mow lawns to afford that...lol
Also who wrote the funny stories on the back page, I remember the main characters sidekick was a kid named Retch. They weren't always a good read, but 3 or 4 times a year he would hit a home run.
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.