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Vintage Valuations

By Chris Sandford

Chris Sandford values a spray of Iron Blue tried to gut in his vintage tackle series.

Early trout flies tied to gut are becoming hard to find
Early trout flies tied to gut are becoming hard to find

Early trout flies tied to gut are becoming hard to find so, when I received a shot of around 30 in this ‘spray’ or ‘fan’, I was intrigued.

Mr G Carey, who would like me not to mention his address, has over 200 examples of various patterns and would like to know not only their value, but what he might have to pay for a vintage wallet in which to ‘house’ them.

Finding an unnamed empty period fly wallet in good condition is not as hard as one might think. A reasonable example should cost no more than £50 but, a word of warning. If you are going to ‘repopulate’ an item of this kind, it’s advisable to leave it sealed in a plastic bag with some moth balls for a few months to kill off any bugs that might be lurking and could devastate a collection in a matter of weeks. If you find that moth balls are hard to come by (I’m told that there is some daft EU ruling) then leave any item that you suspect in the deep freeze for at least eight weeks.

Value for these very attractive ‘Iron Blues’ I would put at 50p to £1 for each fly, providing none has been affected by the dreaded moth. If flies of this type are found with provenance from a famous angler then the price can more than quadruple.

Chris Sandford values a whole array of antique tackle submitted by readers in each issue of Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine.


* Send your vintage tackle queries with photographs to: Stuart Letford, FF&FT (Expert eye), Locus Centre, The Square, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, UK PH15 2DD. Fax +44 (0)1887 829868.

* email: rollingriver@mac.com (if emailing photographs please keep the size of the picture file small, please, ie below 1MB.)

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