Cutthroat Pond

Dave Westburg

WFF Supporter
@MotoBoat, Perrine boxes were made in the US up until the 80's. Got my first Perrine in the 60's. Still have it. You can still find lots of Perrine boxes on ebay. The small perrine 60 (right side in the pic below) sells for $15-20. Sometimes the clips are bent.

perrine fly boxes.jpg

Wheatley boxes are still being made in England. I've got some classic wheatleys which date from the 50's and 60's. The box on the left is half magnet for small flies and the other half is clips. Wheatleys sell for 3-4 times what the Perrines sell for but are a little bit better made.

Wheatley fly boxes.jpg
This what your hockey puck looking box looks like? It's a leader box. There are felt pads inside. It idea was to keep gut leaders moist so that they wouldn't become brittle.
leader box.jpg
 

MotoBoat

Active Member
@Greg Armstrong. "Gut what?" What was used to create "damp" environment Gut in da tin? Now that I think about it there are flies tied to leaders in that Gut holder.

Any I.D.'er what brand wood fly container might be? Seems more like fly storage rather than fly box, due to bulky dimentions. I would guess size to be 10"L x 5"W x 1" thick. I don't recall anything on or around wood fly container to indicate who made it.

If I can remember where I put it I could take a picture. and post...........but not sure where to look.
 

MotoBoat

Active Member
@ Dave W. Hocky puck or skoal container, yep that is what I had described to a "T". I have no felt pads though. Are majority of you flies soft hackle of various sizes?

Very nice fly boxes, I have nothing that looks like those. My guess is that the Aluminum container with flip top and belt clip is same era as "gut" keeper?
 

Dave Westburg

WFF Supporter
@ Dave W. Hocky puck or skoal container, yep that is what I had described to a "T". I have no felt pads though. Are majority of you flies soft hackle of various sizes?

Very nice fly boxes, I have nothing that looks like those. My guess is that the Aluminum container with flip top and belt clip is same era as "gut" keeper?
I fish soft hackles on streams and classic wet flies in ponds and high lakes. Bamboo is great for swinging wets esp if you like to fish two flies. It casts a nice open loop so doesn’t tangle
 

Greg Armstrong

WFF Supporter
@Greg Armstrong. "Gut what?" What was used to create "damp" environment Gut in da tin? Now that I think about it there are flies tied to leaders in that Gut holder.

Any I.D.'er what brand wood fly container might be? Seems more like fly storage rather than fly box, due to bulky dimentions. I would guess size to be 10"L x 5"W x 1" thick. I don't recall anything on or around wood fly container to indicate who made it.

If I can remember where I put it I could take a picture. and post...........but not sure where to look.
A thorough explanation (and then some...) as found in this well written article;

 

MotoBoat

Active Member
Greg, fantastic article! Thanks for posting a link. I had thought gut was from a Cat and used for fly line way back when. Why I thought this I do not know.

But, what I do know is that I find myself enamored by this newly discovered, historical fish fact. That, the first tippet materials came from Silkworm gut.

A copy and pasted excerpt from the article:

"Like everything else to do with fishing, silkworm gut functioned or failed in light of individual opinion. The great Canadian angling writer Roderick Haig-Brown, writing as late as 1964, admitted somewhat wistfully that “silkworm gut casts much better than nylon and I believe it is less visible to the fish than nylon of equal diameter.” On the other hand, Leigh Perkins, retired CEO of Orvis and a fly fisher for upwards of seventy years, says that the 3X gut they had to use when he started fishing “had the strength of wet toilet paper.”

Might this excerpt ruin a date if discovered during conversation :(:

"There was, by the way, a dark underside to this whole enterprise. Until at least the early 1800s, silkworm gut was the product of a nasty little cottage industry that I am sure most fishermen were just as happy not to know about. H. P. Wells, in Fly-Rods and Fly-Tackle (1885), described how each gut strand was handled and processed in a typical small Spanish shop:

Their first step is to free the gut from such portions of the ruptured envelope as may adhere to it. Formerly this was done by drawing the gut between the teeth, and thus stripping off this refuse, but chemical processes are said now largely to have superseded this. The eyewitness, to whom I am indebted for this information, describes the old method as a most disgusting spectacle. The rows of women and girls drawing the entrails of this caterpillar through their teeth, their mouths smeared with blood from the cuts inflicted by the thin gut, mingled with the offal scraped from it by their teeth — spitting and drawing, and spitting again — must indeed be far from a pleasant sight.
 

Greg Armstrong

WFF Supporter
What we've gone through to get to where we are in our sport.

I'm drawn to stories like this - one of the reasons I like to fish with old antique gear.
Although I've never used real gut, I do have some packages of it along with some other old stuff laying around. Regrettably, I remember back in the '70's tossing out one of those old round Leader Tins (like the one in Dave's photo above), along with some other cool fishing stuff that had been part of my families.

After fishing an old blue collar Heddon #8 bamboo rod that I had kept that had belonged to my Great Aunt, I caught the bamboo bug.

A Searun on bamboo feels about right, and will do that to you....
 

Greg Armstrong

WFF Supporter
Here's some old hand tied Gut leaders I have. The stuff feels remarkably similar to monofilament, except that it's much stiffer.
Maybe I'll "soak" one for awhile and see what happens...

IMG_1804.jpg
 

MotoBoat

Active Member
Well Greg, you have the good quality Spanish Gut, so that's good! How friggin old is that Gut? Where did you score such a vast purchase? Is "Medium' the breaking strength? "Mist" the color?

A 3ft length or 6ft length..........which one to soak?
 
@Dave Westburg Thank you for the thoughtful response, I appreciate it.

As mentioned, I like the slow action of the few fiberglass rods that I own from the newer rod producers. Maybe I'll give it the bamboo a whirl again, haven't tried it in many years.

I really enjoy tying classic flies, using classic materials. And, I like creating new patterns that incorporate classic materials along with some of the new stuff out there too.

I have a collection of feathers I found in vineyards all over the state this year, and I have been saving them in my car. Once harvest is over I was thinking about doing a small fly box with flies tied using only those feathers from the vineyard...a vineyard series if you will, haha!
 

para_adams

Active Member
@MotoBoat, Perrine boxes were made in the US up until the 80's. Got my first Perrine in the 60's. Still have it. You can still find lots of Perrine boxes on ebay. The small perrine 60 (right side in the pic below) sells for $15-20. Sometimes the clips are bent.

View attachment 215214

Wheatley boxes are still being made in England. I've got some classic wheatleys which date from the 50's and 60's. The box on the left is half magnet for small flies and the other half is clips. Wheatleys sell for 3-4 times what the Perrines sell for but are a little bit better made.

View attachment 215213
This what your hockey puck looking box looks like? It's a leader box. There are felt pads inside. It idea was to keep gut leaders moist so that they wouldn't become brittle.
View attachment 215215
Dave your old time flies and fly boxes need to pose with an old bamboo rod for my Canon.
 

Dave Westburg

WFF Supporter
Dave your old time flies and fly boxes need to pose with an old bamboo rod for my Canon.
I'm in on this. We can pose my Orvis 9'6" impregnated bamboo rod with some Glasso Steelhead flies, and my 9' 7 weight phillipson with some summer run steelhead flies and my 9' 6 weight with some Roderick Haig Brown flies and my 8'6" grangers and phillipsons with some classic wet flies...
 

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