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  1. #1
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    Default Looking into the past circa 1978;

    Recently my sister sent me a box of flies that had been at her house for a long time. I knew they were somewhere but was surprised to find them in a package with some other things.

    Like many young fellows I was tying salmon flies before I ever went fishing for Atlantic fish. To my disappointment when I finally made it in 1980 there were darn few fish and double hooks were a no no in the waters of the United States for Atlantic's. So, roughly 34 years ago I was doing pretty well at fly dressings but back then we didn't look at flies with a bright light and a 1:1 macro lens. All things considered I am still proud of my early works and sometimes wonder how I've done this for so many years but never got a whole lot better

    Actually I like the rough shod look of the flies. My sister tells me that she has a shadow box with 9 married wing salmon flies from the same time period that she is going to send soon. That will be interesting because I have very poor result with those type flies today.

    Anyway here are a few of the old lot;















    If you've been doing this a long time and have some of your original tying work it would be cool to see them. With the advent of the digital camera and the Internet we now strive for perfection in the fly tying but for me, years ago only what I could see with the naked eye was the test. So, if you got any..post them up when you get a chance.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Looking into the past circa 1978;

    Ard: Very interesting to see your earlier work, it is amazing to see how far you have come! Of course your earlier work looks like what I'm tying now, so the stuff you tie today just amazes me.
    I bet that earlier work still caught lots of fish!
    Larry
    Larry


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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Looking into the past circa 1978;

    That's exactly what I was thinking Larry! Look how far Ard's tying has come. Those aren't shabby ties by any means but his current ties...wow! Another interesting thread Ard, thanks for sharing the photos. My first ever tied fly is in a frame, all smashed up. A wooly bugger. I'll try and get a shot of it to share. Not exactly Salmon flies but hey, we all start somewhere.
    ~*~Leave only your footprints~*~

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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Looking into the past circa 1978;

    I'm glad that you enjoyed seeing those. Larry, none of those ever saw a leader but I have a few flies from that same vintage in my box yet today. One of the Silver Doctors caught a king back in 2006.

    Jay, those were far from my first flies, I had been wrapping hooks for about 12 years by the time I made those. I used to tie a bunch of flies every winter in Pennsylvania and I still have enough to last a lifetime.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  8. #5
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    Default Re: Looking into the past circa 1978;

    Like Jaybo notes, I can definitely see improvement from these flies to your flies today, and even the flies posted here look better than mine Gimme 11 more years I guess, haha. I really like the look of the double salmon hooks, and have been tempted to tie some flies on them since the new regulations which allow the use of multiple hook points on the Erie tributaries. Plus, I may be fishing similar flies for Atlantic salmon and other fish in Scandinavia next year if I'm lucky. Inspirational, as usual!
    - A.J.

    Working out a way to convince my university to allow me to hold my TA office hours on the nearby creek...

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Looking into the past circa 1978;

    Nice beginnings, Ard!

    I agree with you on the rough shod look of flies as it relates to catching fish; particularly for flies that are fished sub-surface, like nymphs, wets and streamers. Most of what comes tumbling down a stream towards a trout has been pretty well hammered by the water and underwater objects by the time the fish has to make an "eat/pass" decision. I doubt that many fish ever see a perfectly shaped natural after it hits the water; still, they certainly seem to enjoy feeding on them.

    I've often times found that a slightly chewed fly; one that has already taken a few fish, soon becomes a "lucky" fly for me. I'll bet I'm not the only one who finds that..............

    I went back and compared your Atlantic Salmon beginnings with your thread on the Wood series flies and, the evolution is great to see! Time to show us some more of that Wood series..............(?) That would be nice!

    I also think it's great that one of your most productive Salmon flies turns out to be one from Pryce-Tannant's book that dates to the early part of the last century. Do you have a picture of how you're tying up those flies now?

    Pocono

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Looking into the past circa 1978;

    Quote Originally Posted by Pocono View Post
    I've often times found that a slightly chewed fly; one that has already taken a few fish, soon becomes a "lucky" fly for me. I'll bet I'm not the only one who finds that..............

    I went back and compared your Atlantic Salmon beginnings with your thread on the Wood series flies and, the evolution is great to see! Time to show us some more of that Wood series..............(?) That would be nice!

    Pocono
    Allan: I have seen the same thing over the years, a slightly chewed up fly suddenly gets the attention of every fish in the river.

    Ard: Now that winter is setting in, I'd like to see more from your Wood Series flies also when you get time!

    Larry
    Larry


  13. #8
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    Default Re: Looking into the past circa 1978;

    Quote Originally Posted by Pocono View Post
    I also think it's great that one of your most productive Salmon flies turns out to be one from Pryce-Tannant's book that dates to the early part of the last century. Do you have a picture of how you're tying up those flies now?
    Allan,

    I tied 5 just last month for steelhead fishing down the peninsula but did not photo any of them. I got better at setting the wings but still don't stress over it because I'm intending on using them. What I do is to make sure those wings are aligned correctly so that the fly rides just right when in use. I stayed with the same turkey slip wings but hackle them with dyed goose rather than BEP. I still have a bunch of the peasant but tend to hoard things like that.

    Larry,

    Some of the old Wood's are pretty well worn but I did not lose a fly. They caught all trout and char, not a single salmon. I believe the poor showing on salmon was due to me fishing brighter patterns for them. I will make some fresh ones over the winter.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  14. #9
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    Default Re: Looking into the past circa 1978;

    Ard, you have good reasons to be proud of your earlier work

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