Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Voices from the Past: The End of Schmelzer's (1930)

There's been some discussion of late of Schmelzer's of Kansas City, Missouri--an old and regal trade house. When I penned a "Reels of the Trade" column on Schmelzer's a few years back, I reported they went out of business in 1930 but got that information from a blurb in a newspaper. Thank to J.K. Garrett & L.P. Brooks, we now know more about the end of the company. This article they sent me came from a December 1930 Sporting Goods Illustrated magazine.

Schmelzer Co. to Withdraw From Field

Stocks Cleared Out; Firm Will Be Dissolved, According to Report


Founder Made Guns for Buffalo Hunters in Days of the Covered Wagon

According to authenticated newspaper reports, Schmelzer's, Inc., Kansas City, Mo., has withdrawn entirely from the sporting goods field. Stocks of merchandise owned by the company were, late in October, being cleared out and the firm had announced its intention of dissolving.

Thus passes one of the oldest, and in its day, most outstanding firms of the sporting goods trade. Founded as a gun shop more than a generation ago, the firm became a general retail sporting goods outlet, then a jobbing house, and, in recent years, a combined jobbing and retailing house handling all lines of sporting and athletic goods.

Where George Lowe Started

George Lowe, head of the Lowe & Campbell organization, was athletic buyer for Schmelzer's in the days of its prime. For the past 10 years the concern appeared to make little headway. Several months ago Schmelzer's was declared bankrupt, and in a receiver's sale Harvey Schmelzer, grandson of the founder, bought the retail stocks, changed the firm name slightly, and reentered the retail business. At the time of the bankruptcy the school and college division was sold to Lowe & Campbell.

Back in the heydey of the Old West, C.J. Schmelzer and his father made guns for the pioneers. They sold large bills of supplies to buffalo hunters who were under contract to furnish meat to railroad construction crews. A brief history of the firm appeared some time ago in ILLUSTRATED.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, June 29, 2009

News of the Week: 28 June 2009

Your favorite blogger gets profiled by ESPN...a fossil piranha may just rewrite fishing history...climate change makes fish ears bigger...Larry Dahlberg gets profiled again...wearing pink is a winner for one pro angler...Buddy Vanderhoop, legendary charter boat captain...Vero Beach boat builder specializes in shallow water skiffs...Dame Juliana gets some press...more on the record Irish shark...anglers are urged to release all Scottish salmon...it must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

The Big Lead: Your favorite fishing history blogger makes the august pages of ESPN Outdoors/Bassmaster!

A new 3-foot piranha fossil may just bridge the gap between flesh and plant eaters.

Climate Change Update: CO2 makes fish ears bigger.

Yakima Bait Co. lines up an icon as a spokesperson.

One angler reminisces about the good ol' days.

Larry Dahlberg gets profiled (again).

How to fish with live eels.

This pro bass angler rides pink to the winner's circle.

In Northwich, UK, the anglers are in a war with the otters.

This Vero Beach boat builder is making boats for shallow water anglers.

Martha's Vineyard Magazine profiles charter boat legend Buddy Vanderhoop.

Catching a muskie is not all that hard, according to Gary Clancy.

How one angler became a manufacturer.

A Wausau, Wisconsin bait shop closes with the death of its owner.

A short profile of Dame Juliana Berners, the mother of modern angler.

Canada's Chilliwack Times notes that the local fishing Derby is luring families out to cast.

The New York state Brook Trout record has fallen.

Great White Sharks hunt just like Hannibal Lecter.

One man picks up a third career--running a campground and bait shop.

More on the record Sixgill Shark from Ireland.

Fishing Mill Lacs Lake, America's walleye capital.

Finishing With a Flourish: Anglers are urged to toss back all salmon in Scottish rivers.

-- Dr. Todd

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ben Wright's Spinning Reel Report

Ben Wright, author of the acclaimed Wright Price for the Reel Man, is back with his quarterly spinning reel report!






Record 400 exc w/poor box @768.41
Garcia Abumatic 170 CF NIB @73.50
507 SCF exc- @112.50
Cardinal 152 NIB @ 152.50
Cardinal 54 NIB @ 253.00 WOW
Cardinal 4X NIB @ 263.75
another 4X NIB @ 293.00
Cardinal 66 first version e-wb @ 288.05
Cardinal 3 tan/black second version ewb @ 194.70
Cardinal 3 tan/black first version exc- @ 325.15
model 222 second version w-wb @ 250.00
Record 1000 NIB @ 520.84
Cardinal 354 non-skirted spool NIB @ 245.19

Vim sidecaster exc @ 243.18
A new record is set for a Cedar Seamartin exc @ 2,306.72
Australian Fishing Reels book by Bob Dunn @ 579.00

model 240-H by Daiwa NIB @ 102.52 WOW
66 scf rod/reel combo exc w/case @ 165.00 WoW

Dam Quick:
Early model w/1/2 bail exc- @ 474.68

Exalta e-wb @ 339.02
Altex no2 mk5 exc @ 204.08
listed as an Altex Duplicated mk 11 with Ducks foot exc-
@ 323.78 NOTE: it did not have a ducks foot !!!
Allcocks Delmatic mk2 ewb @ 124.59

Luxor Supreme no 2r Full Bail ewb (wrong handle knob)
@ 181.50
Centaure Pacific 5 exc- @ 112.59
Mepps super Vamp e+wb @ 210.65
Doperr Blue color paint wear @ 169.94
Rex Reel exc- @ 524.83
Mepps Baby Vamp e+wb @ 656.39
Croizix e-wb @ 149.49

Gepa-spezial exc- @ 492.77 wow
Rileh Rex 57 nib @ 195.85
Preciosa-DGMA exc- @ 197.62
Crack 100 full bail nib @ 105.50

Alcedo 2C/S dark green/cream by Coptes nib @ 330.08
early Alcedo no 2 broken foot @ 289.90
Cargem 44 super dark green exc- @ 365.00
Cargem Mistral 618 exc- @ 181.54
listed as a Tro was a rare first version Zangi Trio exc-
@ 214.67 reel deal!
Nettuno Rolex S5 exc- @ 157.06
Ted Willaim 450 listed as a Jed Willson 450 exc w/pouch
@ 32.05 another reel deal !!

Mitchell/Garcia Mitchell:
300 Pro Anniversary nib @ 199.99
Garcia 300 Red/White/Blue repaint! @ 47.55
300 DL NIB @ only 490.00 but shipping from Sweden to US
was 50.00
garcia 308 nib @ 150.50

Green 710 e+wb @ 222.50 holy cow!
another green 710 e+wb @ 148.50
712 nib @ 174.29 wow
another 712 e+wb @ 148.50
757 exc @ only 50.75
706 exc- @ 192.50
model 430 special CF ewb @ only 31.08 another reel deal!

Sigma 2500-050 e-wb @ 86.75
2499 nib @ 119.50

Sagarra Xanguet exc- @ 329.47
La Dorada Chritin exc- @ 793.78
spool only for La Dorada exc @ 165.09 wow

Victory 400 e-wb crack on body hub @ 439.51
another Victory 400 crack on body @ 373.66

Salmo w/lever on back exc- @ 182.50

Zebco Cardinals:
3 first version e-wb @ 231.90
3 3rd version nib @ 212.50
4 4th version nib @ 140.27
6 second version exc @ 129.50

Other reels:
Shimano baitrunner 6500 exc+ @ 103.50
La Salle By Tamco LTD. SCF exc @ 167.24 WOW
Fin-nor # 3 exc+ @ 300.00
Usland 500 exc @70.00
Johnson sure spin 640 exc @ 58.55
Martin sport-o-matic 120 nib @ 225.00
Johnson 60 CF nib w/tackle bag @ 86.00
Spin Mitey Japan e-w/case @ 44.66
Last was an Ocean city 350 listed as a rare prototype
ya Right !! missing sticker decal @ 36.00

Note: for those who do not know ---all selling prices shown
are in US Dollars.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett

The Bonafide Aluminum Minnow

Another important notice that appeared in the May 1908 Sporting Goods Dealer was the announcement to the trade for the new "Bonafide Aluminum Minnow." It featured this illustration of a three-hooker.

The only "outdoor magazine" ad for the Bonafide Aluminum Minnow that I have seen is this one featuring a photo of a five-hooker that appeared in the June 1909 issue of National Sportsman Magazine.

-- Bill Sonnett

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Funhouse

The Video of the Week
Wallace Carney gives us an awesome 1960 video on the making of Conolon glass fly rods.

Things I Would Buy If I Could Only Afford Them
This CCBC Skunk smells sweet as a rose.

Instant Collection Alert: Three, count 'em THREE, Stan Bogdan reels--one auction.

An ABU Garcia 5000D in gold is an awesome casting reel.

This Lee Wulff Conolon 6' fly rod has gone insane.

Penn isn't really known for its fly reels, but this 4G is a very nice one indeed.

A box of Winchester divided wing flies will make a Winchester collector very happy.

Heddon Punkinseed in White Shore Minnow? Yes, please.

This is the first folk art weather vane we've profiled on the blog, but from the looks of it, I hope it isn't the last.

Creek Chub made only one reel, but it was a nifty one.

The Pflueger Monarch 5-Hook minnow in Chub Scale is a surprisingly scarce lure.

Gaff Hooks are really cool collectables; the Rolls Royce of gaffs are the Marble's mechanical gaff hooks.

A Bud Stewart Crippled Mouse is a great lure from this master lure maker.

I've always wanted to see a South Bend Whirl-Oreno in action.

Here is a 1940s lighted beer sign with a fishing theme.

How about a nice Jim Donaly box with papers?

As always, have a safe and happy weekend, and be good to each other--and yourself.

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Review: EclecticGuy's Blog

Thursday Review: EclecticGuy's Blog

One of my favorite fishing-related blogs on the web is the EclecticGuy Blog, run by Michael Hackney. Michael writes about a lot of things you simply cannot find anywhere else on the web. For example, he is one of the first to talk in depth about Tenkara, which you'll remember from this Tuesday's "Voices from the Past" column.

One of the other awesome things Michael covers is making fishing reels from scratch, without a machine shop. Pretty amazing stuff, actually! Here's an example of his work:

Michael also makes fishing rods by hand, and is an acclaimed soccer photographer, among other things. Too bad he couldn't have taken a photo of my face one minute into the F.A. Cup this year when my beloved Everton took a 1-0 lead. Alas, they lost.

EclecticGuy's blog is definitely worth visiting regularly, as one is never quite sure what Michael is going to write about. But one thing is for sure: it will be cool!

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Memories of a Central Park Angler by Randy Kadish

Today we are privileged to run a piece by Randy Kadish. Randy is the author of the histocial novel, The Fly Caster Who Tried to Make Peace With the World, which we reviewed here on the blog. Many thanks to Randy for allowing us to run this piece here on Fishing for History.

Memories of a Central Park Angler


Randy Kadish

How should we measure time? By minutes? Hours? Days? If so, is time nothing more than a string of shapeless, carbon-copy moments, each one exactly like the one before, like the one to come? If time is not like that, should we measure it another way: by man-made events such as wars, friendships, fishing trips? If so, July 1st was the most important day in my life: the day my book was published.

How should I spend it? By going to the Morgan Library and seeing the first book ever printed, the Gutenberg Bible? By going back to where my outdoor writing career accidentally began: the lake in Central Park?

I took my fishing rod and lures, walked to the park and wondered why it took me so long to publish a book. After all, it was thirty, long, long years ago when I first dreamed of becoming a . How cruel, how slow time seemed when I was locked in the prison of my failures. Yet as I thought back on my special day cruel time, unlike me, seemed to have withered into one giant, compressed yesterday.

I walked to the lake, to the flat rock at the mouth of Wagner Cove. The lake, I saw, was cluttered with a small navy of rowboats, mostly commanded by laughing kids. Surprised, I remembered the school year just ended, and the July 4th weekend was right around the corner. To me the lake was under an invasion.

I set up my fishing rod, and pointed it upwards, at about 45 degrees. I reminded myself to keep my elbow close to my body and to bend my knees slightly. I cast a topwater lure across the cove. It landed about twenty feet short of the far, tree-lined bank.

I thought, Not bad. I pointed my fishing rod toward the water, twitched it back and forth and cranked the reel handle. The chugging lure seemed to write a line of Morse Code on the water. I jerked the rod tip once and stopped reeling. The lure's head popped up and created expanding rings on the water. The rings took my thoughts back forty years to the hula hoop craze. I cranked the reel handle. I told myself, today I shouldn't rush. Today I should let the rings dissipate before I move the lure, the way the books and magazines say I should.

I waited, and the rings blended into the flatness of the water. Again I retrieved, and before long I was lost in the cycle of casting, retrieving, casting-until I remembered why I started fishing: Fishing and meeting people on the banks of the lake helped me forget my guilt and my grief over watching my mother slowly, painfully die; helped me forget the fear of my dead-end future.

I retrieved the lure to close to the rod tip. I remembered to fully rotate my hips during the next cast and to stop the rod abruptly, as if I were hammering a nail. I cast. My lure landed just short of the far bank. Pleased, I created and watched the hula hoops on the water and remembered how I once wanted to be become a great angler and a great caster who could cast all the way to the far bank; but always my cast landed at least thirty feet short. Frustrated, I read books about casting. The books helped. I cast farther and farther, but still well short of the far bank. I was at another dead end, it seemed; so like a mad scientist, I experimented with my own casting techniques, suspecting, but not fully admitting, that for me, casting was really about becoming very good at something, and erasing, in my mind at least, at least some of my links in my long line of failures, and my inability to forgive my mother.

Slowly, very slowly, the experiments worked. When the leaves started to fall, I finally cast all the way across the cove and snagged a crankbait on a tree. Thrilled, I thought of how, during the long winter, I might forget what I learned about casting, so I decided to write down my techniques and then review them the next spring.

I did, and then I thought of other struggling casters. I decided to turn my notes into an article. I wrote it and sent it off to a local magazine. Six weeks later I still hadn't heard from the magazine. I phoned the editor. He told me he wasn't interested.

Angry, thinking I had racked up yet another failure, I said, "Would you be interested in an article on bass fishing in Central Park?"

"If you could get it to me by May 1st."

I hung up, went to a magazine store and bought two fishing magazines. I read several destination articles, then picked out one and used it as template. The next day I wrote my article in three hours. A month later I read my first published words, but still blind to the long, twisting road that lay before me. Baby-stepping, I wrote and published one article after another. Sad that my mother wasn't around to see my success, I wanted to make an amends to her, so I turned to writing a book.

The hoops on the water had disappeared. I forgot to retrieve. I cranked the reel handle and thought, it's strange the way I became a . It didn't happen when I wanted it to, thankfully; because as I look back, I'm sure success would have gone to my insecure head and blocked me from the journey I came to write about: my spiritual and emotional recovery. Yes, I became a published relatively late. Was it a Higher Power's time? An accident's time? Or did it just happen?

I turned from the cove, looked across the lake and scanned the banks for other anglers. I didn't see any. Surprised, I wondered if the anglers outgrew the lake, maybe even outgrew fishing. I wondered, will I one day? How many hours have I spent fishing on this rock? How many hours fishing this lake? How many hours talking to tourists and strangers?

"Are there really fish in the lake?" The accent was English and thick as grease. It belonged to a man about my age. His shirt was light gray. His chest was shaped like a barrel. He reminded me of the Tin Man, but a nice camera hung from his neck. I assumed he had a heart.

I answered, "Big bass."

"In England I used to fish for carp."

"Used to?"

"Now I'm more into traveling, but I still have my father's fishing rods. Maybe they're worth some money. How could I find out?"

"You can check on the Internet."

"The Internet? Right. How'd we ever live without it. Good luck."

"Thanks." I cast, then thought, that guy is yet one more future memory. Memories, I guess, are like stars: always forming. But memories, unlike stars, don't have real dimensions, and real laws of space and time. Do memories, therefore, just exist in the expandable, hard drive of my mind? Yes, so many saved memories, like my first one of fishing this lake, the one of the middle-aged hippie.

She wore thick, granny glasses and told me she was from Boise. I thought she didn't look it, and then told her I never met anyone from Idaho. She told me Boise was a great city with great fishing and a great orchestra. I wondered if Boise, therefore, was a place I should consider moving to. I wanted to fish, not talk, but she just stood there, watching me, asking questions about New York. Soon I realized she too was lonely and sort of lost. So I kept talking to her and suggested parts of the city she might be interested in seeing.

"I used to fish with my father," she said. "Funny, for so long I kind of forgot how those were the only times I really got to talk to him. I guess now that's he's gone I try to forget that he was only sober for two things: working and fishing."

I thought of asking her if she was a twelve-stepper, but I wasn't sure if that was appropriate, so wondered what to say, and then remembered what I had read about listening: reflect back her words. "That sounds like it must've been really hard on you."

"It was. That's why I don't think about it, I guess. Did your father take you fishing?"

"My father only took me to do the things he wanted to do."

"Are you from Manhattan?"

"From Brooklyn, originally. The same neighborhood as Sandy Koufax."

"Sorry about the Dodgers."

"We got over it, finally, but not until we got the Mets."

"What was growing up in Brooklyn like?"

"Great. Filled with endless street games: stickball, football, hide-and-seek."

We continued talking, mostly about living in New York and in Boise. A silence, long, but for me, not uncomfortable. The woman from Boise told me her name was Joan and good-bye; and though I was again alone, I felt good because I had made an amends to the world and helped someone feel welcomed.

I reeled in line and told myself, I hope Joan, where ever she is in the world, found the love so many of us are looking for. I thought back to when I was so shy I couldn't look anyone in the eye or express my thoughts and feelings, to when I couldn't get a second date and was so lonely I finally took workshops and read books and learned how to communicate. I wondered, why did asking for help take me so long? Yes, I was damaged, but I didn't cause it, and at least I've tried to cure it. Today I must feel good about myself.

I walked about ten feet down the south bank and thought of a memory I wanted to forget: My mother often telling me I was no good. My father finally, finally agreeing to take me to a baseball game, but then showing up an hour late. Memories, are they where time retreats to? Without memories would time, or at least the past, not have a place to go and vanish into nothingness?

I cast, then scanned the rowboats. Unlike time, they moved in different, random-seeming directions. I remembered how I hated rowing. I scanned the trees surrounding the lake like a necklace. I scanned the apartment building lining the park like a fortress wall. Suddenly I had the feeling I was looking at a giant, group photograph. The row sitting on the ground was the lake. The row sitting on chairs was the trees. The row standing up was the buildings. I told myself, I wish I could I be a part of the photograph. But looking at a beautiful photograph can be better than being in one. If so, why do I feel so far away from this lake, as if it's in a parallel universe or in a movie? Maybe fishing in Central Park is an old challenge I too have outgrown. Maybe casting and retrieving, like moments, are carbon copies of themselves. Or maybe, as I watch and hear people talk and laugh, I wish I were with close friends instead of with memories.

I thought of Robert, my old fishing friend. I remembered the day we fished the Beaverkill and I took him to fish the Covered Bridge Pool, one of the most beautiful places on earth. We waded into the river. Ten minutes later I looked upstream. I didn't see Robert. An hour later I sill didn't see him. I waded out of the river. Robert was standing by the car, drinking beer. I walked to the car. In the back were two empty beer cans. It hit me: Robert was a closet alcoholic. I demanded he throw out the beer cans.

I remembered the day Robert and I fished the Central Park lake and he caught, but then illegally killed, a beautiful bass just so he could take a picture of it.

I thought of my friends, Steve, Joe and Debbie, and remembered that they never asked to read anything I published.

Angry, I retrieved my lure and thought, yes, I've turned my resentments into recurrent, carbon copies of themselves. I should let my resentments die. This special day should be about keeping the focus on myself, on what I've finally achieved. Instead I'm again I'm trying to rewrite some of my past, things I cannot change. Why? Because I'm scared of critics panning my book, and my writing, therefore, amounting to an anthill in the scope of the wide world. Scared of facing a fork on the road of my life. If I were only more like time and never felt fear or reached forks. But, unlike time, I can change directions, in spite of my fear.

I reeled in my line and walked along the winding, asphalt path to Belvedere Fountain. The large, three-tier fountain was surrounded by a square, red-brick plaza. The bricks reminded me of the Yellow-Brick Road in the Wizard Of Oz. I thought of how Dorothy tries to escape time, or at least the present, by dreaming up people and places. I thought of how I try to escape by reliving memories that at least are real.

Who was better off, Dorothy or I?

I walked to the concrete bank, cast and watched my lure fly across the lake. The lure carried me back to the morning of 9/11. In disbelief, I stared at the TV and felt lost and terribly alone. I wondered where I should go to find a hint of sanity, of comfort.

I grabbed my fishing rod and my lures and meandered to the plaza and fished, but instead of finding sanity and comfort I found obsession. Again and again I wished I could turn back time and erase the horrible carnage of 9/11, and also of wars, of alcoholism and of abused children. But wishing couldn't dent time's armor. After all, time didn't have shape or mass and didn't cry or care.

Who was better off, time or I?

I couldn't answer, year after year.

I retrieved my lure, slowly, continuously. Instead of hoops or Morse Code, the lure sculpted a short, narrow wake.

A women and her two dogs walked up to me. The boxer, stared at my fishing rod. The bulldog looked at me and smiled as if I were his friend. I petted him.

"We take them fishing all the time in Wisconsin," the woman said. "They know the drill. Every time they see fishing rods they get excited."

I said, "So even dogs have good memories of fishing."

"Absolutely." The woman smiled. "Good luck. Take care."

I realized, yes, maybe it's the people I meet, more than the fish I catch, that brings me back to this lake, because people, unlike moments in time, are different: People like the woman who told me she was visiting from Canada.

I said, "You don't have a Canadian accent."

"I'm from New York. I moved to Toronto many years ago for a teaching position, but now I'm retired. I love the way the city is taking care of the park, and building a new park along the Hudson River. I wish I could move back."

"Why don't you?"

"I had a rent-controlled apartment I had to give up. Now there's no way I could afford a free-market one in Manhattan."

"What's Toronto like?"

"It's a nice city, but for some reason, it never felt like home. Looking back, I guess I've always been lonely there."

I felt sorry for her and wondered if I left New York for a place like Boise, if I'd regret it and always want to move back.

"I'll just have to make the best of it," she said. "Maybe if I stop coming back to visit I'll forget how much I miss this city." She said good-bye and, though she didn't know it, walked into one of my memories.

I again cast, then thought, in some ways I'm like that woman. I too want to relive my past, and preserve some of it in timeless fishing memoirs, memoirs about how, after so many years of being stubborn and arrogant, my life had become unmanageable, and finally, thanks to fishing, I learned how to change. Time, are you really a flow that, like the Yellow-Brick Road, leads somewhere? Or are you just an infinite cycle that, like the red bricks of the plaza, has no beginning, no end, and leads nowhere? Time, are you just an inanimate, naked idea? Time, maybe you don't you really exist at all. But then would I have memories and hopes?

But I do have them, and maybe they should be my private worm hole so I can always go back, toll free, into a past I won't regret and will use to change and grow.

"Any luck?" someone asked.

I turned and saw a young couple. They held hands. He carried a tourist map. I said, "Yes, I had some luck."

"What did you catch?"


He laughed.

I smiled and hoped a future memory was about to start.

Copyright © 2009 by Randy Kadish

You can visit his web site by clicking here.

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tenkara in America ca. 1899

Tenkara in America ca. 1899

A new wave of interest in Tenkara, the old Japanese art of fly fishing, has recently begun here in America. Check out Michael Hackney's awesome blog for some neat pics and an overview of this fascinating method of catching fish.

I thought it might interest some of the readers to know this style of fly fishing was written about in the nineteenth century, and caused a bit of a stir. The following article, from an 1899 American Angler and written by that venerable magazine's editor William C. Harris, shows well the reaction of a traditional fly angler to the Japanese method of using a fly.

The "Skittering" of Flies to Catch Trout

I saw in one of your contemporaries a two-column description (which I enclose) of a Japanese method of catching trout, and would like to have your opinion of it. It certainly is not fly-fishing as I understand it.

New York, March 20th. Tyro

The method described in the article you inclose is "certainly not fly fishing" as the anglers of America understand it. The Japanese method consists in handling a very light, long rod of eighteen or twenty feet, with a line about two-thirds the length of the rod and making the flies skip, grasshopper-like, over the water. Without the use of a long rod and short line, the skipping of the flies is practiced by every trout or black-bass fly-fisherman who has become efficient in his art. With a rod of ten feet and a line of twenty, the flies can be made to "skip" to the content of even a pot-fisherman, particularly if fishing down-stream.

The late D.W. Cross, of Cleveland, O., was an adept in this method of fishing. He used a 11 1/2 foot rod and about twenty-five feet of line, and fished the rapids of the streams with great success. But there is a cast of fifty or more feet which was aptly called by Mr. Cross the "grasshopper cast," although he never used it, preferring the shorter and more killing (on swift water) cast. It consisted in throwing the line by a direct overhead cast, so that the knot joining the reel-line and the leader would fall first and alone on the water, thus causing the latter, being the lighter, to spring upward and forward, arch like, with the end-fly dropping singly and gently on the water. Try it, Brother Tyro; you will find it difficult to do, but it is an elegant and successful method, much more sportsmanlike than the one in use by the Japanese.

What exactly was "unsportsmanlike" about the Japanese method, Mr. Harris did not elaborate on. For our purposes, it is intriguing to note that the method was known in America well over a century ago.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, June 22, 2009

News of the Week: 22 June 2009

6 year old catches massive halibut...a catfish festival....is collecting a guy thing?...fishing is still growing...giving tackle the spa treatment...fishing the mighty Ohio...Hollywood sponge diver sold tackle to Elvis...a new bait shop horror film...fishing gear has greater meaning on father's day...Zane Grey and tarpon fishing...Irish pensioner lands monster shark...it takes a lot to land spadefish...a monster brown from Montana...a new state record OK Flathead...Apache trout...it must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

The Big Lead 6 year old girl better angler than you: goes mermaid fishing, lands 138.8 pound halibut. Seriously. May win major angling derby. We can't make this up.

10-year old also much better angler than you, wins fishing derby.

If you're near Marietta, Georgia, join in on the second annual Marietta Catfish Festival.

Is collecting a guy thing? One author thinks so...

Another article about fishing as a growth industry.

Why you should give your tackle the spa treatment.

Fishing the Mighty, Mighty Ohio.

Hollywood sponge diver sold fishing tackle to Elvis (in a movie).

A new bait shop horror film is being made in Salisbury. Didn't they already make this one with Billy Ray Cyrus?

You want to catch a carp on a fly rod?

Muskie hunting is worth the effort.

Fishing gear has added meaning on Father's day.

Montana man lands blockbuster brown trout.

Zane Grey and Byme-by Tarpon.

An Irish pensioner lands a monster shark.

Oklahoma has a new record flathead.

It takes hear to land a spadefish.

Finishing with a Flourish: The Apache trout in Geronimo's back yard.

-- Dr. Todd from the Northwoods of Wisconsin

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Announcement: 4th Annual Colorado Cane Conclave, 02 August 2009

Gary Carbaugh--ORCA member, fly angling enthusiast, co-author of the great book on Colorado reels, and all around good guy--sent us this announcement and we definitely wanted to give anyone who is in the region a head's up about the Colorado Cane Conclave 2009. Here is the text of his announcement:

Announcing the 4th annual Colorado Cane Conclave, founded by Gary Carbaugh. This is a gathering of people who build, collect, fish and enjoy fine bamboo rods and other vintage tackle. Also an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to try cane but has not had the chance.

TO REGISTER go to the "What's New" page at http://www.southcreekltd.com
Click on "Colorado Cane Conclave" in the upper right-hand corner to download your Registration Form and instructions and a detailed flyer.

WHEN: Sunday, August 2, 2009 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Planet Bluegrass, Lyons, Colorado

The $45 registration fee includes use of all the Planet Bluegrass facilities, seeing and casting many bamboo rods from a number of makers, a fully catered lunch, a live auction(with a professional auctioneer) of donated classic and modern tackle. Also included is fishing on approximately 1/2 mile of Planet Bluegrass' private stretch of the North St. Vrain river and the use of a table if you wish to display and/or sell any and all fishing related goodies. Bamboo rod makers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity!

100% of the proceeds from the live auction will be split between Reel Recovery and Casting for Recovery, both cancer survivor programs so we really need more donations for the auction if you can help.

All of the details are found at South Creek, Ltd. and click on "What's New." Thanks, Gary.

I wish I could go! Sounds like a blast, and anyone with even the smallest iota of interest in fly angling and who is in reasonable distance from the event would be a fool not to attend.

-- Dr. Todd

Streater's Thought of the Week

Every weekend Dick Streater gives us his thought of the week, culled from his voluminous files on fishing and tackle history.

Minnesota has 15,291 lakes over 10 acres in size. A list would include: 261 Mud Lakes, 154 Long Lakes, 123 Rice Lakes, and 81  Bass Lakes.  Rare names include: Wet, O-Be-Good, Hooter, Flapper, Fanny, Octopus, Dirty Horse, Uff, and Balogna. Don't forget your license when fishing Violation and Jail lakes!  Waterfront lots always have a higher value, but the listings would have to name:  Deadfish, Dead, Deadcoon, Dirty Water, Pea Soup, Mosquito*, Mudhole, Dismal Swamp, and Disappointment lakes. (Note:  Both Dr. Todd & Streater are former Minnesota residents.)

-- Dick Streater