The Companion To Alfred Ronalds Fly Fishers Entomology

I just placed this item for sale on eBay:

Top-half view if the front cover

Top-half view of the inside front cover to, The Companion to Alfred Ronalds Fly Fishers Entomology, 1862.

It is an original, circa 1862, edition of The Companion, which accompanied the sixth printing of Ronalds’ work. I have owned this item for a number of years, and decided to put it up for sale. Before it is no longer in my possession, I will take photos of each page, listing the 47 fly patterns named herein, and maybe if I can find recipes for them, it would be nice to replicate the patterns and post each fly with the matching name and description from this classic work. I thought the historical nature and posting of this memorabilia would be interesting. Here are a couple more photos:

Flies for March.

Flies for March.

Flies for March, with opposite vellum folds for fly storage.

Flies for March, with opposite vellum folds for fly storage. This page is the worst in terms of condition.

Flies for April.

Flies for April.

Many of these fly names are right out of Mary Orvis Marbury’s 1892 book, Favorite Flies and Their Histories. Those of you familiar with her book, may not have realized that many of the patterns in her book were already more than seventy-five years old, some of these pattern listed in Ronalds book are much older than that, having been written about by Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton.

Flies for May.

Flies for May.

Antique snelled wet flies, on the interior bound-in felt page.

Antique snelled wet flies, on the interior bound-in felt page. There are three modern eyed hooks among the thirteen antique flies; hook sizes are all small, probably no larger than a #14. Ravages of bugs are evident. The hooks are still good, and the gut as well, could probably be used to replicate antique wet flies. (Soak well in water before attempting this). How about the Hare’s Ear in the lower center, still in very good condition; looks like the wing could possibly be whimbrel or curlew; a material no longer readily available, if even legal, yet it was once popular in some old patterns.

Macro image os small wet fly, approximately a #16 hook.

Macro image of small, quill-bodied wet fly, approximately a #16 hook.

Flies for August.

Flies for August.

Thus concludes another bit of fly fishing history .Thank you for reading.





6 comments on “The Companion To Alfred Ronalds Fly Fishers Entomology

  1. larry pauley says:

    DON, I enjoy ALL OF YOUR E-mails. I like what you can do to a fly, all a Master Piece. ONE DAY my fly might look half as good, Larry Pauley

  2. Don Bastian says:

    Hi Larry;
    Thank you so much for your comment, your kind words, and your support! Keep practicing your tying… 😉

  3. Armando Milosevic says:

    I can not even believe I seem unreal from here, but maybe the line is not of that time, is it? but is of great value Don, because selling them.? my respects…

  4. Don Bastian says:

    Hi Armando;
    As far as I could ascertain, The Companion to Ronalds Fly Fisher’s Entomology was published with the sixth edition, about 1862. That makes this little booklet 151 years old…!
    Thanks for your comment, nice to hear from you!

  5. mark rooney says:

    I’m just researching and have in my possession the same 6th edition, leather-bound unbeknown to me was the age, can I ask what price these fetch? Mine is in great condition. Kind regards,

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Mark;
      The one I sold, as you could see, was in poor condition. I had 31 watchers on the bid and thought it would go up, but it sold to a man in Austria for the starting bid of $50 US. I have seen other auctions on these in good condition go for hundreds of dollars, $300 – $500 US. Good luck on selling yours, if you do, or enjoy owning it! Cheers!

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