Friday, November 7, 2008

Lang's Week Part 4: Dr. Todd's Picks

Lang's Week Part 4: Dr. Todd's Picks

163: Original Helen Shaw Framed Portrait
When I was growing up there was a woman who lived at the end of my street who reminds me of Helen Shaw--a woman who exudes class, sophistication and mirth in every photo. This painting would be the ultimate reminder of one of the most important fly tiers of the 20th century.

366: Eugene Connett Personal Fly Chest Edgar Burke
We gravitate to the things we know and love--in my case, books. In a simpler time items such as fly chests had character and were lovingly constructed and gifted between friends. In this case, its connection to Derrydale Press founder E.V. Connett and fly tier Edgar Burke give this extraordinary appeal, and that doesn't take into account the sheer beauty of the chest itself. We should all live well enough to have friends like these two.

800: Early Bamboo Pritchard Trout Rod
I would be remiss to not bring up an overlooked rodmaker, seeing as how I just wrote a book on the subject. In this case, a great Pritchard trout rod would give anyone a case of the Sherlock Holmes in their effort to learn more about it.

1082: Abercrombie & Fitch Pflueger Salt Water Reel
Again, having just penned a major article on Abercrombie & Fitch trade reels for ORCA, I was struck by the classic beauty of this saltwater Pflueger reel retailed by the great New York store that declared it was where the blazed trail crossed the boulevard. A stark reminder of the class and elegance once attached to this historic name.

1320: Rare Philbrook & Paine Marbleized Trout Reel
I tried hard not to include super high end items, but this one stands out like a supermodel in a bingo hall. This is reelmaking as art; reels like this make me consistently wonder why classic tackle has never been displayed in the great museums of America.

1423: Very Rare Fowler Side-Mount Trout Reel
I love Ithaca's Alonzo H. Fowler--dentist, reel maker, rodsmith, merchant, and angler. This is his most famous product, the dainty rubber fly reel that amazingly has survived intact down to the present.

1630: Rare Kovalovsky Heavy Bamboo Deep Sea Rod
Speaking of artists, Kovalovsky was one of the great reel makers of all time, and additionally a rod maker as well. This is a great example of his work that bewitched the wealthy and famous alike.

2003: Chautauqua Weedless Trolling Hook Lure
Broke my rule again, but can you blame me? The Chautauqua is truly one of the rarest and most impressive of all metal lures. It could not have been profitable, which means it was likely a labor of love from an old world craftsman.

2057: Hughson & Watson Metal NY Spinner Lures
I love old metal and in particular obscure metal. These Clyde, New York tackle makers (or retailers) are about as overlooked as you can get.

621: Rare South Bend Lure Co. Fishing Photo Album
What can I say about this that several of the more knowledgeable experts previously have no? It is an absolute slice of history, a window into our fishing past. When I chose to become a professor I took an apostolic vow of poverty, and it has almost never bothered me. This is one of those rare times I wish I were a wealthier (financially) man, as I would certainly go deep into my pocket for this item. Why? Because between these pages is a book that deserves to be published. Who doesn't love big fish pictures, and everything from the tackle used to the style of dress--classic. So if you know who ends up winning this gem, give them my contact information...maybe we can all get a peak in its pages after all!

That's it for Lang's Week! I hope you enjoyed it, and I want to thank all of the experts for taking the time to turn in their picks.

-- Dr. Todd

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