Cast From The Past: Hardy Fly Fishing Gizmos and Accessories

Photo Credits: Steve Woit and Dean Smith

It is has been said that fishing is the sport with the most equipment associated with it, and the Hardy company in Alnwick, U.K. has made a handsome living producing just about every imaginable fly fishing gadget and accessory.

Photo Credits: Steve Woit and Dean Smith

A small band of collectors has been able to locate even the rarest and oddest examples of this craft, including some items that only appeared in a single Hardy’s catalog, possibly for good reason.

This assemblage of Hardy accessories belongs to John Shaner, Hardy’s top sales official in this country, who is both an avid collector and a talented fly fisherman and authority on soft hackle flies.

Photo Credits: Steve Woit and Dean Smith

Besides the wonderful club fly boxes, this photo includes several gut cutters, micrometers, and gut gauges to measure and prepare leaders, a pocket watch-shaped dry fly drier, a Wardle Magnifier, and a wonderful device called “The Curate.”

Photo Credits: Steve Woit and Dean Smith

 

The Hardy Brothers Curate (photo from Dean Smith’s Tackle Treasures collection) looks like an overgrown pair of tweezers, with a dry fly oil compartment in the screw-off handle, where there is also a pick—try using that all at once streamside!

Photo Credits: Steve Woit and Dean Smith
Photo Credits: Steve Woit and Dean Smith
Photo Credits: Steve Woit and Dean Smith

The Hardy Fisherman’s Knife, the Wardle Magnifier, and the Hardy Unique Salmon Fly Reservoir are just elegant and beautifully designed examples of tackle mania.

Steve Woit is the author of “Fly Fishing Treasures: The World of Fly Fishers and Collecting”, a book featuring profiles of 30 experts and collectors and over 800 photographs of rare and collectible fly rods, reels, flies, books, and ephemera.

 

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One thought on “Cast From The Past: Hardy Fly Fishing Gizmos and Accessories

  1. What wonderful kit! ! I saw a number of those Late Victorian and Edwardian Dry Fly Cult items, all together in the same place at the same time and still in the possession of a descendant of the original family purchasers and users (he’d used them himself before retiring them), at the Upper Test Valley, Hampshire home of an elderly English Gent (born 1901), a tremendously able flyfisher even in his early eighties, who as a boy met F.M. Halford, fished with “Keeper Lunn” on the “lots of minced liver and huge onions” Houghton Club, guided G.E. Skues (“Terrible nympher, though it was strictly dry fly on my parents’ water, so he had to … Showed him around it when he visited for a weekend, when I was in my early to mid teens … Put the great English architect Lutyens (of New Delhi and various, very nicely gardened countryhouses around Surrey and the like) onto some very nice fish, you know … There must a case of his very fine brace of small river, big brown trout still out there somewhere … I netted them for him…”

    No bull’, no boasting.

    Another world.

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