Fly fishing patterns 2020 tied with vintage Herters bobbin. Don Daniels photo

Fly fishing patterns 2020 tied with vintage Herters bobbin. Don Daniels photo

Old methods of buying fishing tackle have gone out the window

By Don Daniels

Ever since the beginning of recreational sportfishing, all you needed was a very simple line and hook to land a fish.

Back in the day, those homemade wood or metal lures and plugs and hand lining was quite common. Then came rods, in the form of wooden sticks or bamboo. Wooden reels were made by various manufactures who competed to get their product to the people who fished for all species of fish all over the Island. The Europeans slowly came to the area because word had spread about the big salmon that could be caught around Campbell River.

Before tackle shops opened in the area, anglers brought gear from Europe, and at times, they sold items to the locals. Catalog shopping was quite common and it was a long, drawn-out process to get any tackle here to use fishing. Then tackle shops opened and all the salmon and trout gear made it easy to go fishing. Prior to the 1970s, many people shopped from an Eaton’s or Sears catalog and before Christmas, family members used the catalog as a wish book and placed orders with their parents – including sporting equipment.

An angler’s bible was the Herter’s catalog available from Waseca, Minnesota. It was a treasure chest of fishing and hunting supplies that were shipped out all over the world. The company is no longer in existence; they closed the doors forever in the late 70s.

A few years ago, one of my senior students who had attended the fly-tying sessions at the library had passed away and the family had given me his tying kit with a box of feathers to donate to classes. One box of feathers was in a cough lozenge box and other feathers were stored in a Woodward’s box and a Moirs chocolate box. More materials were in a Rainbow ladies’ nylons box.

It was like finding and opening a time capsule of fly tying history, but the best was yet to come. I found an order form that dates back to 1954. Mr. R. M. Bannan from Blairmore, Alberta, had purchased fly tying materials from Waseca, Minnesota. There were 13 items that included hooks, floss, thread and feathers. Total for the goods was priced at $2.75 and the postal charge had an option of 5, 10 or 15 cents.

At the bottom of the order was an important disclaimer: “All feathers from wild birds are sold with a definite understanding that they will be used for fishing purposes only.” If any old-time fisherman is around, I would ask the question: What else were feathers used for in the 50s?

Happy New Year to all anglers around the world and keep safe as we mask up and go through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Some bystanders with fire extinguishers helped keep the fire under control. Photo courtesy Suzie Thomas
Bystanders keep fire from spreading near McIvor Lake turnoff

‘Just be vigilant and careful,’ says Campbell River fire chief

The Pier Street Farmers Market will once again take up residence on Sundays from May to Septmber at the parking lot across from the Community Centre in downtown Campbell River for 2021. Mirror File Photo
Pier Street Farmers Market returns to Cedar Street parking lot for 2021

…and it’s hoped that the addition of artisans this year will make it even better

Some recommendations from the Downtown Safety Select Committee have been approved by Campbell River City Council, including removing the glass stage covering at Spirit Square. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Council going ahead with removing Spirit Square stage covering

But mayor acknowledges need for ‘welcoming, warm place with support services’

A small fire on North Rendezvous Island is the first wildfire of the season in the Campbell River area. Officials are asking people to take caution when burning during these dry conditions. BC Wildfire Dashboard
‘Conditions are tricky at the moment’ warns Coastal Fire Centre

Small fire on North Rendezvous Island first of the season for Campbell River area

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Most Read