Shuffling through some drawers the other day I happened on some cigarette packages. These little gems took me back to the mid sixties in Kelowna British Columbia. I started tying back then at a fairly young age. With a new 1962 rotary Universal Vice sitting in front of me I preceded to try to figure out how to tie flies.
Much of my initial tying was done through direct observation of how my Dad did it and a wonderful Scottish neighbor who tied the most fantastic salmon flies. Between the two of them I absorbed a rich history of information. Stories wandered to great waters Good scotch and tying flies. Most kids had a paper rout. I tied flies for the local sporting goods store.
Back then there weren’t fly shops with the massive abundance of materials that we have at our calling as we have today. The fall procured upland birds, waterfowl and big game for materials. The materials where simpler.
Found Books where a luxury but I was passed a few by Whuff and Lessering among others. The local library was a limited source and the web was what you saw along the stream banks filled with mayflies There was also Field and Stream Magazine that I read incessantly till they fell apart.
Dad was a smoker and I discovered to my joy that the back of his Sportsman packages contained beautiful Illustrations of flies. Month by month I waited for him to finish a pack. Dry flies, Wets, streamers all the flies of the day where there. I carefully cut them out and placed them in a Sportsman tobacco tin. Then I pondered the ties and the wondrous materials used in their construction. They where a source of wonder to me back then. I slowly acquired other books and these little gems where put aside. I even had a small book that contained the full series of Sportsman flies which has long since disappeared. I decided to post some of these package backs here to share with you these images.
Thanks for looking and may the trout be feeding where you are.