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A Little Bit Of HIstory
Another gem from my visit with Bob Selb at The Classic Fly Fisherman yesterday...and a little background. My good friend Bob's niche in the business is collectible fly fishing memorabilia including fine bamboo rods, reels, books, artwork, name it.

After my visit I brought home and photographed a salmon fly tied by the late Gene of the forerunners in the modern world of tying classic salmon flies and the making of custom hooks for tyers. This fly has suffered the ravages of ageing...and it's not really all that old. But when time permits I will attempt to bring the fly back from the brink. The topping and tail are terribly faded from exposure to the sun...the wings are seriously distorted I suspect from the heat of that same sun exposure. It will be an interesting project to say the least.

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions on how to go about rehabbing the fly...please fell free to speak up!!

Petri Heil,
The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits - Albert Einstein
George, I'm not sure how to "fix" the fly. One side of me says leave it the way it is and the other says take it apart and "try to fix it". The paper is original and you can address that two ways. One, dampen the paper around the frame and remove it whole so you could lay it back into place. I wouldn't give you odds that this would work without it going sideways on you. Or, cut it out and lay it over the new backing. you could attach an envelope with it folded inside. I'd try the first possible method. if you could remove the cards with the same water method and reglue them to the new paper. I can't see how the fly is mounted to the backing so that needs to be taken very carefully so you don't need to replace any of the backing.

One thing..........Sunday didn't make hooks. He reshaped hooks. Just kinda of a hook maker thing for me.

Good luck with the project!
Happy Trails!

Ronn Lucas, Sr.
Like Ronn, i can clearly see both sides of the situation. Personally, i wouldn't touch it. You'll never change the faded crests, so it becomes a question of is it worth it to tear this apart to preen it pretty ? Just my opinion, but i wouldn't appreciate someone doing that to my art regardless of how good their intentions are. Tough one George. Good luck
I'm going to make a couple statements that need to be understood in the manner they are written.
'that fly is only worth what it's worth to you or what someone (like you) is willing to pay for it.' and 
'I would not describe that fly as priceless.'

therefore, why not preen it?
if you want to show it surely you'd want to show it in its finer condition and as testament to the man?

I could get into that box, no worries.
keep it on its backplate, steam and preen.
but if you can remove the fly, and please try... steam, preen and press. look to those glass and magnet displays I once referred to.

that fly could easily be left flat between the panes to set, and only slightly crushing the tail veiling to the width of the hook (which will spring back).

and don't lock yourself out next time... you'll need to do this again in 30 years.

awesome find and pm sent regarding bob,
the difference between art and a hobby is you can plagiarise for a hobby.


The value of the anything "collectible" always only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. In this case ????????? Gene is probably not that well known outside the small world of classic salmon fly tyers so the market is going to be somewhat limited.

Regarding the frame and fly. I have this gut feeling doing the work here is somewhat "above my pay grade" and I am going to return it to Bob along with your thoughts about the fly's worth and leaving everything intact as is. Bob has worked closely with Roger Plourde on this kind of I will let the professionals handle this delicate task.

Thank you all for your input...most helpful!!
Petri Heil,
The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits - Albert Einstein

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