Saturday, February 12, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: The Dazzler Bass Fly (1918)

The Dazzler Bass Fly

While looking through the pages of the May 1918 issue of Field & Stream I noticed this prominent ad for the “Dazzler Bass fly”. Though I've done some fly rod fishing for bass, old flys have never held my interest the way old wooden baits do. What stopped me in my tracks was the name of the manufacturer, Paul W. Gallaher.

I have always collected pre-1960 bass fishing books and the name Gallaaher immediately rang a bell. It is not a name I run into very often and it is the name of the author of a classic book on bass fishing. If I were to make a list of my ten favorite bass fishing books, ones I've read over and over through the years, Black Bass Lore by Wallace W. Gallaher (1937) would be on the list. He spent a large portion of the book on the subject fishing for bass with the fly rod. More importantly he was a great story teller and had some extremely funny ones to tell.

Have you noticed that current books on angling are dominated by trout fishing books? Authors of these trout books are often good story tellers and they concentrate on people, places and their interesting experiences while angling. Most bass fishing books today are strictly “how to” books that are about as interesting as the instructions on how to assemble a new gas grill. There are a few notable exceptions.

When I open my copy of Black Bass Lore, I see the signature of the author Wallace W. Gallaher. Immediately below that is the signature of his son who illustrated the book, Paul W. Gallaher.

-- Bill Sonnett

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