Leather fly wallets with sheepskin for hook holders

srock

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I tend to be old style and really like the look of leather fly wallets that use sheepskin or wool to hold flies. All of my current fly boxes are made of plastic or metal that come from conventional makers to hold my flies, which work fine. My worry is that the folding leather fly wallets that use wool would appear to me to not be real secure in holding flies in place that would lead to lost flies falling out of the wallet. Most of these leather fly wallets do not have zippers but utilize simple fold over flaps. What has been any of your experiences with leather fly wallets, are they pretty secure for keeping flies, and not having them (the flies) fall out? Thanks in advance.
 

trev

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Those wallets were meant to be used only for wet flies or streamers and only barbed hooks, since both dry flies and barbless hooks are rather recent inventions. You can use one with dry flies but the wings will be crushed.
With barbed hooks I don't think it's possible to loose a fly out of real fleece, that stuff is curled and tangled so that you have to pull fleece out to get the fly out. Eventually the fleece needs replacing because so much wool has been pulled, and each time you use a fly you have to pick the wool off the barb. Many years ago I tried a wallet and found it too bulky for the number of flies it could hold (wet flies/streamers lay flat) to suit me. The early aluminum perforated boxes were evidently believed superior to leather by most fly anglers, because they quickly replaced wallets. I think a 3"x5" box might hold about twice as many flies as a large wallet and protects them from crushing.
 

planettrout

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I purchased a zippered fly wallet similar to this English zippered wallet, back in the 1980's. I use it to keep big bass bugs like Dahlberg Divers and Deer Hair poppers that I would occasionally fling towards unsuspecting trout on the Owens and East Walker Rivers in the Eastern Sierra...



...like this one...with the weed guard removed and the hook slightly bent to one side...the rises were spectacular



It important to keep the the contents and interior of these types of sheep skin wallets completely dry. A wet fly inserted into that stuff starts rusting immediately.


PT/TB
 

srock

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Thanks. That is a nice looking fly wallet planettrout and I agree that large flies make the most sense in using these. I did end up getting a zippered one which I think is safer in Terms of having flies drop out. Thanks for the tip on keeping things dry. Fricker dog, that fly wallet you have must bring back a lot of nice memories. I wish I had something like that from my dad, but mine never fly fished.
 

frickerdog

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Fricker dog, that fly wallet you have must bring back a lot of nice memories. I wish I had something like that from my dad, but mine never fly fished.
It's pretty cool. The only issue is that it was next to some old reel oil that leaked over the years and no matter how much I air out the wallet, it still stinks of reel oil, so it stays out in the garage.
 

JoJer

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Early on, when I could count the number of flies I owned on my fingers, I got my flies free with magazine subscriptions. One such offer was 5 or 6 in a cloth (fake) sheep-lined folder with a snap. I think it may still be around here somewhere. I went barbless early on for my own safety, so the wool fly holders in wallets, on vests etc were soon replaced.
 
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the norseman

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My Vintage Leather Fly Wallet with 4 Felt pages
and 2 snap buttons for secure closure.

There are 2 hidden pockets on each side under
Felt Pages.

I’ve used this for over 20 years. Durable, convenient,
slim, trim and secures Flies. I have other Fly Boxes,
but always use the Vintage Leather Fly wallet.

49131A14-2BF7-42F1-BB3A-449DD10A58E9.jpeg
 

trev

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Thanks!
I thought the barb was invented as a way to hold the wire as the hook was formed, hundreds of years ago and that barbs had to be removed to get barbless and if dry flies were common that long ago it's strange that they became the thing to do in the late 1800s more or less when short split cane rods were invented.
But barbed hooks don't fall out of fleece and barbless do.
 

fatbillybob

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Barbless come out the sheepskin easy like anything else but the flies do not fall out when you open the wllet and they stay put enough with friction to not end up in your pocket. I'm a minimalist fisher and use a small wallet with streamers, crab and shrimp patterns when I fish the beach. All I have is my rod a spare leader, fly wallet with minimal flys, and pliers. My flies are SS but still will rust. I'll dunk the whole wallet with flies in fresh water after an outing and just let the whole thing drip dry with my boots and wader pants and I get minimal to no rust on my hooks.
 

srock

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Here is one of the leather fly wallets I purchased with a variety of poppers in it. The wallet works good for large flies like this and the softness of the leather makes it easy to carry in a vest. It’s also light weight.5EFCD8C9-4094-4908-8FEB-065D15130E33.jpeg
 

bonefish41

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Sorting the closet for upcoming KW when I found this on the floor...this is over 60 years old have not seen it for at least 30. It was bought at LL Bean old store when you walked up stairs to the retail shop when it was open 24/7. As for the contents they were used on the Little Manistee in the early 60ies...I was impure and a heretic to use a flatfish...it was the smallest single hook...had others...would run it down a run and wait for the Brookies to hit it usually about 10 times or so before a hook-up...as for the feathers back then I was impatient and creel proud...feathers did not work for me so flatfish...the exception was Hex and nitetime but then it was dark and could not see anythingLeatherWall.jpgLeatherContent.jpg
 

srock

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Nice fly wallet. I like the flatfish. That one is really small and I can see where it could be used with a fly rod. I have fished the Little Man several times. It is a beautiful stream. Mainly for steelhead. LL Bean still makes and sells a folding fly wallet made of waxed canvas for about $20, which is a great deal in this day and age. Yours has held up well for being 60 yrs old. Way to go.
 

tcorfey

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Thanks for reminding me! After fishing tubes for awhile you forget about the boxes with flies on hooks But I have been tying some for display and use so it was good to remember I had this.
 
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