This week’s Throw Back Thursday post is a box of Mustad-Sproat hooks.
If you read the post entitled Tyer’s Wax a couple of weeks ago, you might remember I wrote about Gretchen Beatty’s father “Dub” Evans who taught her to tie flies on a treadle sewing machine converted into a fly tying vise.
While I was at their Boise home, Al and Gretchen brought out several fly tying items I was able to capture. This box of hooks was one of them.
Notice the monofilament attached to the hooks? The whole box of hooks Mustad-Sproat 3399A hooks had them attached. Gretchen relayed this was the method her father used to prepare his hooks. He sold just the hooks as well as a “bouquet” of 13 flies tied on the hooks.
Here is a close-up of a fly.
This last picture shows an old fly wallet with the bouquet of flies sticking out.
I wonder if the snelled hooks were a hold-over from the day of gut. I can imagine the short length of gut tied onto the fly and fly wallets held these at the ready. The loop was used to attach to another loop or perhaps a clinch knot was tied on. But I don’t really know. It’s only a guess on my part, because today flies are tied directly onto the tapered leader. I think in the old days, fly fishers used a long, straight piece of monofilament.
Another past-practice that has faded away in our fly fishing history.