We had a bunch of these old wooden lures in random places in the boat shed. It’s got some teeth marks on it.
The place on the river has been in the family since the 1840s. As good as my brothers and I think we are, being the only ones who really fly fish the area, the best angler in our family’s time had to be Great Great Uncle Frank. We have pictures of him handling several large muskie, stringers of smallmouth, and a human-sized wahoo from Florida, where he also fished. He used bait casters and oiled silk and catgut and wooden lures and plugs.
Another Uncle described him as a water genius. In his later days he became legally blind but he still took out the skiff every day and tended to his minnow traps and fished. He’d find his way by shadows based on time of day and the sounds the rapids and current made in different stretches of the river. Makes the thought of using a fish finder seem a little bit like cheating.
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The latest issue of Fly Fishing In Salt Waters contains an awesome article by Ed Mitchell about pioneering salt water fly fishing with bamboo rods.
The photos for the story are awesome black and whites from a photographer named Charlie Ebbets. Check out the online gallery of all his work. There’s an awesome shot of Joe Brooks jumping a fish on a big plug.
The Rivers of a Lost Coast blog has a cool audio clip of how anglers coated silk lines with varnish and graphite.
[Note: For some reason the audio clip isn’t showing up on the direct link. Go to the blog front page and scroll down.]