Despite the Playboy pics we did manage to tie a couple of flies.
It was night and I had been listening to an owl hoot outside my window for the past hour in the dry, cold, still winter air. Bored a tad silly I decided to post a photo I had just snapped of a classic vintage fly-rod & reel combination on Facebook. It was a shot of a white fiberglass Shakespeare Wonderod No. 816 matched with a Pflueger Medalist 1494 reel. The shot screamed 1972 and it brought some quick responses.
"I have that reel!" a friend Bob commented.
I replied, "Bob, I know you do. I spooled it up for you once in the fly shop...it's the '57 Chevy of classic reels!."
Then came a comment from a friend named Chuck.
"I know I have that same reel. Hasn't been used in years...hardly a scratch on it. I also have a Wonderod around here somewhere."
There was a brief flurry of other comments that soon began to dissipate back into mid-winter dreariness. Then came an interesting question from a long-time friend.
"Do you still have that fly-tying kit we bought when we were kids?"
Kids! Hell, I still think of myself as just a kid! But his question gave me a moments pause and I typed out what initially began as a sad reply, "I do, but all the tools and materials are now gone..." But then a ray of blue hope hit me in the eyes and I searched my basement and quickly found what I was looking for. Elated I finished my comment in victory, "...but I still have the old cigar box that we used to keep our stuff in. I'll post a pic of it on my wall in a few minutes."
Back in the day this old friend and I collected a few bucks to buy and share a Tack-L-Tyers fly tying kit and it was in the old cigar box that everything came to be "organized". Over time it held the cheap vise and red plastic bobbin that came with the kit, plus a few other oddities that we thought appropriate for our goals. In it we collected all sizes and shapes of hooks, various colors of furs and feathers, a ragged (and bad smelling) rabbit pelt, a couple of squirrel tails, spools of black, red and white cotton thread that we had pilfered from our mother's sewing kits, and I believe, a couple of photo tear-outs from Playboy.
Later, still a teenager, I had wood-burned an image of a Black Gnat fly on its top. The finishing touches, done many years after, were a couple of good coats of varnish and some brass corners. There was even a time when it was commissioned to hold a girlfriend's tea bags so the inside top was decorated with a tasteful paisley print.
The old box was in really good shape. And, despite the Playboy pics, we did manage to tie a couple of flies. - WES:::