The Good Old Days

The King of the Woods wet fly

I have been gathering some old stuff for the last number of months, anything that is old, preferably with a date on it, or at least the recognition of “being old.”

I want cool, vintage stuff. Or it doesn’t even have to be all that cool, just vintage. My intent is to post photos of classic wet flies, streamers, drys, etc., with these items. More or less to blend the time-period of the good old days with the actual vintage artifact in various set-up photos. So here goes:

The post today is a King of the Woods wet fly, dressing from Mary Orvis Marbury 1892, Favorite Flies and Their Histories, resting on a 1953 desk top calendar.

Williamsport, Pennsylvania is my home town. I remember when the phone numbers used to be four or five digits. I even remember when they still had letters in them at our family farm/cabin in Tioga County.

I hope you enjoy this different trip with classic flies and vintage stuff down memory lane. Have a great Labor Day holiday everyone!

Hmmm, I may have to make that a new category, Classic Flies and Vintage Stuff. Sounds like a plan.

13 comments on “The Good Old Days

  1. Kelly L says:

    NOW YOUR TALKING! This is right up my alley. That fly is sure beautiful. I can’t wait to see vintage stuff. That goes for flies, tackle, whatever. 🙂 It has become ANOTHER obsession for me I’m afraid. Oh well…one of a few.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Kelly;
      Thanks for your appreciation of the King of the Woods. In the Marbury book, there is no information on it’s origin, but it was noted to be a companion pattern to the Queen of the Waters. Guess that was someone idea anyway. And a good one it was. 😉 I love that pattern. It’s one of the flies in her book that has never, to my knowledge, had the correct recipe published, and I’m even guilty of helping that to happen.
      As always, thanks for your comments!

  2. JOHN HOFFMANN says:

    Wow, what a neat idea! I especially like the calendar in the photo Don. As it happens I was born on January 7th, 1953 and I can see that it was a Wednesday. How about that! (Of course the fly is pretty good too, as always.}

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi John;
      Wow! That’s cool that I accidentally hit on your birth month and year. You’re eight months younger than me. 😉 I was born on a Friday, April 4, 1952 at 2:13 PM. I only know that because I have a fancy, 60-year old teething ring that has a sterling silver bell attached, with the pertinent info engraved on it. The kind of baby gift that one buys at a jewelry store. While I don’t know and can’t ask her because she passed away in 2005, I can almost bet the gift came from my aunt, my mother’s sister. Both are deceased actually.
      Glad you like the fly. It was already tied. I spent more time cleaning the calendar – took it apart to clean both sides of the glass, than I did taking the photo.
      Thanks again for your comment!

      • Kelly L says:

        Now that is funny. My daughter should of been born on April 4th. Instead she came in right after midnight, making it April the 5th instead.

      • Don Bastian says:

        I was supposed to arrive on April Fool’s Day, but I played a joke on my mom and came out three days late. :mrgreen:

      • Kelly L says:

        My daughter’s due date was Good Friday. That came and went. (I was glad though) Then I was afraid she would be born on April Fool’s Day. That came, and went. April 4th my doctor decided he was going to have to induce labor. Who knows how long it could of gone on, if not for that. I was just relieved that it wasn’t one of the two dates I mentioned previously. 🙂

  3. Terry Chapman says:

    I like it! Now I have a use for all the emphemera (paper not insects) that I tend to keep through the years, like every Herter Catalogue I ever owned, and other items
    like a non working old yo-yo, a small shark’s teeth collection, some quoits (the game), and a1976 US Bicentennial pin!

    • Bill says:

      That’s a great format idea, DB. I will scrounge around and see if I can find anything you can use. As for old phones, when I was a pre-teen and spent summers with my Grandparents in a small town up in Wisconsin, they had a wall-mounted phone with a crank and separate mouthpiece and receiver. To call someone, you turned the crank and waited for an operator to ask “How may I direct your call?” You would tell her the name of the person you wanted to speak with and she would make the connection. Quaint, eh?

      • Don Bastian says:

        Hi Bill;
        Thanks for your offer to find and contribute old stuff!
        I still remember the hand-crank telephone at my aunt’s; at the cabin in Tioga County, as you describe. It was working until the early 1960’s. We still have the original rotary dial black desk-top Bell Telephone that replaced it.
        Another thing I have is a pristine metal thermometer, Sawyer Brother’s Hardware, Liberty, PA. Phone: 25R2.
        That’s going to have flies with it for sure. 😉
        Thanks for your comment!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Terry, I can’t spill all the beans at once but I have a 1935 Weber catalog, Solunar tables from 1932 and 1933, a 1938 ruler, a 1946 Herter’s catalog, little circular, cardboard dry fly boxes from Harder’s Sporting Goods, Williamsport, PA, dated to the 1940’s, original material cards from E. C. Gregg’s Fly Tying Materials labels, and some E. Hille’s, Williamsport, PA, fly tying packets in cellophane with hand-lettered-in-ink (I don’t want to be chauvinistic), but it’s a woman’s hand-writing. Ernie Hille had his wife and other ladies working for him, dyeing, packaging materials, etc. Also from the late 1940’s.
      Anything old that to me, links the Golden Age of the wet fly etc., is subject to a rebirth in a photo with a fly. I think it’ll catch on. Thanks for your comment!

  4. Bill Havrilla says:

    Hey, look at that! ANOTHER cool idea from the mind of Don Bastian. Great way to recycle “stuff”, other than flies I mean. And while we’re remembering “old” stuff, anyone recall the little paper soda straws with bits of chocolate or strawberry flavored paper in them that you could stick in a pint of milk?


    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Bill;
      Glad you like the recollection aspect of this post. I think I remember those flavored straws…not for certain. I have better memories of my first-grade girlfriends. :mrgreen:

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