Thursday, December 2, 2010

UPDATE: More Info on Larry & J.J. Koller

UPDATE: More Info on Larry & J.J. Koller

This week we get an update to the Larry Koller post from last week.

First, Joe Stagnitti sends us a really neat photo of some J.J. Koller boxed lures. The box on the right has the crossed out Goshen address, replaced with a handwritten Miami one. Note also the box on the right is a "Streamliner" bait; perhaps J.J. was producing these at the same time his brother was making Ruff-Nek lures. Nifty!

Neat, neat lures!

Next, we get an informative letter from Bass Bug historian extraordinaire Jerry Martin. Jerry writes:

I have three Ruff-Nek bugs that came with a Pflueger Sample Room card. The card indicated that the bugs were received from J.J. Koller, Goshen, NY on September 29, 1944. Two of the bugs were "Ruff-Nek style". The other was a typically flared and trimmer deer hair bug with wings tied in directly behind the hook eye projecting 90 degrees.

A small J.J. Koller ad appeared in the June 1943 issue of Field & Stream. The ad stated that the Ruff-Nek Bass Bug was "Designed by Larry Koller" (no indication that  L. Koller tied them?).

Well, that definitely fits with my theory that J.J. took over when tying these bugs when Larry went to Connecticut during the war. Jerry has a few questions that perhaps other can help answer:

Does anyone have an authentic sample of a Koller Minnow. Were the minnows streamers, bucktails or fly rod lures?

And finally, concerning "hand-tied" bugs and flies. I am still looking for a machine tied example.

If anyone can help out Jerry on this, drop me a note and I'll put you in touch with him!

Finally, noted fly tier Mike Valla writes to remind me that Koller was an enormous influence on him in his formative days tying flies in the Catskill region. Mike in fact references Larry a number of times in his new book The Classic Dry Fly Box, which is available by the way in paperback.

Many thanks to Jerry, Stag and Mike for their help. Larry Koller was a fascinating guy and he created a great set of baits!

-- Dr. Todd

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