Monday, March 31, 2008

News of the Week: 31 March 2008

A Bass Pro Shop that costs local residents $945 each...a program that seeks to dispose of used monofilament...Mitch's Bobbin Whirler has one fly tier living high on the fly...Former NFL coach Dennis Green is a fisherman...translucent flourescent fishing lines...a thirty-year old story of a 130-pound catfish that returned from the taxidermist painted like a must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

The Big Lead: Bamboo fly rod maker Bernard Ramanauskas is profiled by The Pueblo Chieftain.

We're a week late on this, but a 20-pound largemouth (12th largest ever) was boated in Lake Murray, California.

Why this Bass Pro Shop will cost every Decatur, Alabama resident $945 each.

Dam fun fishing fish dams.

A florida tackle shop teaches novices how to fish.

From the Bright Ideas File: This Georgia program for recycling old monofilament is a great idea.

The annual Fred Hall show was another big success. You stay classy, San Diego!

The IGFA partners with Florida Keys Outfitters to create the Super Bowl of light-tackle inshore fishing.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel shows how the Wisconsin DNR is fishing for young anglers.

The inventor of the Mitch's Bobbin Whirler is living a fly tiers dream.

The River Falls Journal spins a tale of chedderheads angling in paradise.

Ex-Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green is an angling fanatic, and claims the 25 pound largemouth boated last year still lives.

For the man who's caught every fish in the ocean except an oarfish, there's always the bluewater ranch.

Frank Thomas, former technical director of the U.S.G.A., got his start at Shakespeare.

The Holland Sentinel informs us a sucker is born every day...a sucker fisherman, that is.

The Houston Chronicle declares two Texas fly fishermen are peas in a pod.

North Carolinians are celebrating in the streets now that a new state record white crappie has been recorded. Oh, and something about a basketball team in the final four too...

Pittsburgh Live reports on the latest trend: translucent flourescent fishing lines. Say THAT five times fast. I dare you.

Finishing with a Flourish: Quick, name three things that can put a damper on catching a 130-pound catfish? Answer: 1) catching it in a net instead of with rod-and-reel. 2) having your wife hate it. 3) getting it back from the taxidermist painted to look like a bullhead.

-- Dr. Todd

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Funhouse

The Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week

Sometimes the truth hurts: the wolf is a better fisherman than you are.

Things I Would Buy If I Could Afford Them

Ever seen a CCBC Giant Pikie in flourescent yellow? Me neither.

You don't see a Wilcox Wiggler show up every day...

It's nice to see the Heddon Super Spook get some love...

Love these glass minnow traps, and the Shakespeare Model is a rare one.

Your Heddon of the Week is this indescribably beautiful green crackleback saltwater minnow.

In honor of Ted Bingham's new book on Vom Hofe, here is one of EVH's Restigouche salmon reels.

Here's the 1923 catalog to go with it.

Frog collectors have jumped the pond over this beauty.

The Nichols Shrimp continues to amaze...

Bill Edwards, son of E.W. Edwards, made some great quadrate fly rods.

The South Bend Vacuum Bait is an eye catcher in frog.

A Walton Speed Bait is a bizarre and coveted item.

Got to love Nat Uslan and his five-sided fly rod.

The Aqua Sportsman was made less than ten miles from where I live, in Norwood, Ohio.

This L&S Muskie Master prove these lures have real collector value.

Colorado Floating moths always make me think of the late Cliff McDaniels...

As always, be nice to each other, and yourself.

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Review: Bob Guist's Guide to McGinty and Phantom Minnows

Well, it's been a couple of months since Whitefish Press rolled out a new book, so it is really nice to announce that Bob Guist's long-awaited book on McGinty's and Devons is ready to ship.

The American McGinty and Devon Minnow: Identification and Price Guide covers these misunderstood lures in tremendous detail. Bob Guist, author of a well-reviewed book on Phantom minnows, helps to shed light on these confusing lures, from its origins in the wake of World War I to the the heyday of the Michigan "River Rats." Working on this book, I was surprised how many varieties of McGintys there were, as well as the number of companies--big and small--that made them. Just a few of the names include Pflueger, Eppinger, Horrocks-Ibbotson, Paw Paw Bait Company, Abbey & Imbrie, AL&W, John Popplecheck, Ed & Delores Miller, Chuck Hayes, and Steve Oravec. Better yet, the book covers in appendices the related Bellhops, Whammys, Wobblers, and Jumping Jacks used by the river anglers alongside the better known McGintys and Devons.

The book is full size 8.5" x 11" softcover, 100 pages in full color, with many, many lures never before pictured in print before. As the cost of printing in color is astronomical (and recently went up AGAIN), I don't know if I'll reprint this book in color again after this initial run of 100 sells out. So if you are wavering, don't. The book is available for sale only by clicking here. Get yours and introduce yourself to the world of McGintys, Devons, Bellhops, Whammys, Wobblers, and Jumping Jacks.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fishing for History Turns 1 Today!

Happy Birthday to us! One year ago today, Fishing for History: The History of Fishing and Fishing Tackle blog had its humble beginnings. Never did I dream it would be as interesting, frustrating, and time-consuming as it has turned out to be. What began as a small little attempt to shed some light on fishing history has since put me into contact with hundreds of individuals across the globe, people who have taken the time to write and introduce themselves. 268 posts later it has morphed into the Fishing for History blog that is here before you, five days per week.

I am particularly indebted to those individuals who have contributed to the blog. They include (but are not limited to) Jim Garrett, Bill Sonnett, Warren Platt, Brian Funai, Richard Lodge, Jack Bright, Jerry Jolly, Robert Hann, Patrik Lönell, Joel Kifer, Steve Wight, and the many people who have sent links, videos, and auction pages for the web site.

My goal for Year 2 is to get MORE OF YOU TO CONTRIBUTE MATERIALS! Original articles, editorials, essays, poems, interviews, show reports, anything that will keep me from being chained to this computer all morning long!

I'd like to thank everyone, including those from over 60 countries, who visit my little moon in the universe of cyberspace. I hope you've enjoyed yourself a little bit, and will continue to do so in the future!

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Voices from the Past: Will H. Dilg

Many collectors know the name Will Dilg from the Heddon fly rod lure named after him. But for a generation of outdoorsmen, Dilg was one of the most vocal and prominent conservationist, a founder of the Izaac Walton League and a nationally respected columnist on outdoor affairs. Here is a nifty article from him dating to 1922.


I read recently an account of a trout fishing trip in a canoe, and of how a trout, firmly hooked, made a run for the boat, jumped in, shook the hook from its mouth, then deliberately jumped back into the stream. The process is evident. He became confused, made a run toward the boat, saw it when it was too late to turn, made a leap and landed in it. Then his wild flopping, he happened to rub the hook from his mouth, and in further wild flopping he in some way got over the gunwale and into the water.

Virtually the same thing happened to me in the west last summer. I was fishing for cutthroat trout, and hooked a monster. After I had played him a while, he swam toward shore just below me. There were a lot of rocks at that point, and he swam up among those rocks, in water so shallow that he was halfway in the air. He wiggled around in the rocks, got the hook out of his mouth, and swam back into the river.

Such stunts are not rare, although probably accidental. I have known pickerel to leap into a boat evidently without provocation. They had quite possibly been chasing a small fish which suddenly ducked under the boat. He pickerel leaped and fell into the boat. Once while fishing in northern Minnesota I was sitting in the bottom of a canoe while my two companions were casting for pickerel. One of them reeled in, and was about to lift his lure from the water when a pickerel shot at it, missed, and landed squarely in my lap in the bottom of the canoe. Since that was the only fish we caught, I was properly proud of my skill.

I wonder how many readers of this column have had strange experiences with fish that got away? I mean fish that got away by some peculiar stunt—or, for that matter, that gave themselves up by some such crazy notion or accident.

I would like to hear about them, and wish you would write to me in care of this paper.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, March 24, 2008

The News of the Week: 24 March 2008

A 14 year old who owns his own fly tying business...a new tackle warehouse is opened...NFLCC Member Dave Boyer is profiled...Oops! I hooked a bird...Pure Fishing's new CEO talks Shakespeare/Pflueger...British troops get in on the Iraqi fishing must be The News of the Week!

The Big Lead: Ray Sasser profiles a 14 year old fly tier who already owns his own fly tying business.

The Annapolis Capital declares that all that glitters may catch fish.

A tackle company opens a wholesale warehouse near Cincinnati.

When mind, body and rod are reeling...

NFLCC member Dave Boyer is profiled by the hometown Mattoon newspaper.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette profiles bowfishing--not quite fishing, not quite hunting.

The Morris Daily Herald declares the sportfishing industry may have a rough 2008.

The Albert Lea Journal takes us on a journey to find the perfect fishing lure.

Medical students lands gigantic 359 pound grouper.

The Albany Times-Union argues March is the longest month awaiting fishing opener--or if you happen to be a Duke fan.

Oops, I hooked a bird! The Daytona Beach News-Journal opines on how to get the feathery creature off your hook.

1st Cast Fishing Lures is a new company trying to make a presence on the web.

Along with trout, youngsters catch love for fishing.

Captain Don Cameron, staple of the Rhode Island fishing scene, has died.

Pure Fishing's new CEO Terry Carlson talks about the firm's purchase of Shakespeare/Pflueger..

The Times Standard argues honesty is the best policy when it comes to fishing.

Dave Richey spins the tale of a poacher who underwent a transformation.

The IGFA hands out its lifetime achievement awards.

Finishing with a Flourish: British troops are getting into the Iraqi fishing act.

-- Dr. Todd

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Funhouse

The Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week

The shortest video ever posted on Fishing for History just may be the funniest.

Things I Would Buy If I Could Afford Them

This is a phenomenal 1903 Heddon Underwater minnow.

Mitchell half-bails are always very popular.

in this kind of shape simply don't come up very often.
Heddon spearing decoys.

This reel, attributed to Fritz Vom Hofe, is a true classic.

Wow. An early Creek Chub pikie in an intro box may break four figures!

A Leonard Bi-Metal fly reel is always nice, but I particularly liked the artistic auction photo.

A group of 80 Heddon Lures that came off a dealer display board would make an awesome start to a Heddon collection.

This Chapman doesn't come down the pike every day!

Who knew that the Smithwick Gandy Dancer was this coveted?

Tycoon Tackle made some awesome saltwater rods, just the thing to go with your Fin-Nor reel.

This Shakespeare Frog Skin bait is one of the neatest of the frog covered lures.

Marble's fish gaffs are always coveted items.

The Johnson Pink Princess is always a popular collectable.

This is a beautiful Heddon Punkinseed in Goldfish Shore Minnow with, unfortunately, some blemishes.

Canadian collectors are flocking to this Hex Wheelrite in the box.

The South Bend Frog-Oreno is usually found in worn condition, but this one is a true beauty.

A Weller Classic Minnow in the box is a nice addition to a misc. collection.

This Swedish Leidersdorf, Stockholm metal spoon will make a nice addition to any metal collection.

I enjoy Joe Pepper metal, and this New Century Potomac spinner is a great one.

The Shakespeare Beetzsel is a coveted baitcaster.

This James Victorian Needle Works marked fish hook is a very desirable British hook.

-- Dr. Todd