This week’s Throw Back Thursday post is about a Herter’s No. 4 Fly Tying Vise.
Did any of you begin tying flies with this vise?
It’s a vintage fly tying vise from the mid-1950’s that my friend Jim Fisher used growing up in Idaho. It’s one of the items he shared with me during a recent visit.
Jim still has the Herter’s replacement parts list for No. 3 & 4 vises.
When I first started tying flies around 1970, I remember the name Herter. I think I had one of their catalogs and searched for fly tying materials. Those were the years when I believe fly tying began changing. It’s been 50 years, so I don’t have perfect recall (or much recall at all). I remember purchasing materials from Wayne Doughton’s harware store in Salem, OR where I grew up. It wasn’t much longer and I started to frequent Kaufmann’s Fly Shop in Tigard, OR. Shortly there after, I found Dave McNeese’s Fly Shop in Salem.
Wayne sold me my first vise, a Thompson Model A which I highlighted in an earlier TBT post.
Herter’s was a well-known name located in Waseca, MN and produced a mail order sporting good catalog for “The Authentic World Source for Hunters, Fishermen, Guides, Gunsmiths, Tackle Makers, Forest Rangers, Commercial Fishermen, Trappers and Explorers.”
Surely you could find something you needed in this catalog!
Wikipedia states George Leonard Herter (1911 – 1994) took his father’s dry goods store in 1937 and turned it into the mail order outdoor hunting and fishing business, eventually going bankrupt in 1981 and it was the end of his catalog.
Certainly, business models have changed a little since then…or perhaps not so much. Think of Amazon. It’s just a larger on-line “mail order catalog”.
Jim Fisher was recognized as the 2011 Stan Walters Memorial Tyer of the Year from the Oregon Council of Fly Fisher’s International. I recently spent a few hours with him for a tutorial on selecting materials and techniques used to tie wet fly wings. He tied the Ray Bergman Beauty I highlighted in a previous TBT post.