Year of the Hendrickson: February 25th 1915


Roy Steenrod
Courtesy of Dette Trout Flies

Bradley, N.Y
February 25, 1915

Dear Mr. Steenrod:
The writer Zane Gray tell a tale of taking forty 4 to 5 pounders just to crush some important tenderfeet who doubted his stories. One by one he threw four pound small mouth bass into the river, before the astonished eyes of these tenderfeet. I had to work for all the bass I ever got in Delaware, but then I really fished with fly, not with a combination of sly, spinner and wriggly pork, which is not fly fishing. No matter what you call it. . .

I have tried several tin boxes for fly material, one the largest and best cost $5.00, years ago. Did not like them. But there is a wood frame, leather covered box in Abby and Imbrie’s catalogue that I think would do if it has depth enough and can be arranged. One must use envelopes, at least I must, and there should be a long space full length of box to take strong, cheap regular envelopes. The one that has the flap (instead of tray) in cover, would probably be best. As for the tray one could subdivide that to suit himself and his needs. One requires something that he can carry on short trips, and that will hold enough varied stuff to tie any pattern or imitation required.
Theodore Gordon

Dear Mr. Steenrod:
. . . These attractive catalogues are a nuisance, one sees so many useful things.

I thought that a very small sum would cover all these small accessories, swirls, sinkers, snaps, snells, short wire leaders and all the small things that one often needs but never has, but there is no end to them when you study a catalogue . . . Abercrombie and Fitch od business in style . . . I will find a piece of old Mary crewel to send you. One that shows the beautiful bright color, which was fast in all colors . . . I used to haunt Washington Market and vicinity and occasionally picked up something worth while. Once a half dozen coots. Again on the street a big pale blue gull, and I had one place where I could pick lots of capons, mostly too big and coarse but I sometimes found a treasure. At Christmas tide, all sorts of foreign game birds were on sale (at high prices) even capercaillie, the great grouse of Norway and Sweden (big as our turkey).
Theodore Gordon

Dear Mr. Steenrod:
. . . The 10 foot rod [Abbie and Imbrie “Hand Made” Empire City rod, 7 oz.—Ed.] is the one Christian bought tow weeks ago. In rods of this class there is some luck. You may strike a batch of extra good can, and have a very superior rod for the money. Again it may only be ordinary, without that nervous resiliency most Americans like. Bruce [Le Roy] can fish either hand. At the big pool at he Mill (none now) there used to be a sort of shelf on the rock. Bruce used to walk along this leaning back, and cast a short line, skimming his drop flies. I have seen him kill two trout at once, good ones. He used a short of left handed or back handed cast, and he is really left handed in many ways.

He can cast well with a rod of any action. Christian is also a great expert, and has more patience and perseverance than any other man I ever met. This is the secret of his big fish. That and going for them at the correct time. I think he deserves the big trout he catches and am glad to see them when he brings them to me to show.
Theodore Gordon

Edited by John McDonald, by permission of Theodore Gordon Flyfishers.

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