Here is a email outlining how tying materials were made ready before tying. I have collected quite a bit of stories from him about cap Kennedy, Jim stone and other lengends of his time. I would like to get some more background information before compiling a document on this.
This is just
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Neal sometimes the weather will trigger memories to me. One of these lately has been when Cap would get his winter tying supplies. Mostly rooster streamer necks and Buck tails. He would order white necks from Wapsi Fly. Then one day he would announce they had arrived and we had to wash and dye them. First we would wash them in the same tub that held his catches that I viewed as a young boy. We would use tide laundry soap in hot, hot water. Stirring them for 20 minutes with a old hickory handle from a garden tool. Then we would hang them on the clothes line out beside the house after rinsing them in the same tub they were washed in. The tub was washed out and then the Buck tails were put in. Again tide soap was added and this time the water was heated on a old propane stove in the garage. When the water was boiling we would stir them in till they were snowy white. Then we would brush them to get rid of bug and burrs. Cap liked the big old hollow hair Buck tails. He would use all the Buck tailed he would get but sorted them in to categories. Large for the 3/8 oz. Jigs medium for the rest . Small tails which there were few were used for smaller jigs sometimes, but we're the last ones used.
We would let them dry for two days in Indian summer as Cap would say and the take and sort the necks to large, medium, and small. When they were dry we would start to dye them with a die that he had and I don't think is no longer available. We would keep the largest and save them to use as hackles on the small jigs the next largest would be sorted and dyed to red and yellow for tails on the jigs. The smallest we would dye red for the small jigs.
The buck tails we would dye like wise. Four different piles white the largest would be put in boxes with moth balls. Then we would sort the rest some to be dyed red, some yellow, and a few a hunters green or as Cap would say forest green. The dying was done in a old steel pot put on top of the propane stove. The stove was a old two burner stove more a hot plate than a stove. Cap always called it a stove so that's what I will refer to it. We would add the dye to the water boil the water and dye and then add the necks or tails. When the color seemed right to Cap we would turn down the heat and add vinegar to set the dye. Then wash the tails or necks in cold water and hand them dry on the clothes line with clip clothes pins. They would dry for a full day before being fluffed and put in a box with moth balls.
Getting the winter tying material ready was a three day ordeal. We would start off at 8:00 a.m. and not quite until 4:00 p.m. and then go out fishing until dark. Kathy would have a nice meal made for us with a couple of scotch and waters before we ate. Cap loved his scotch and water most of his scotch was cheap but welcome after a three hour fishing trip in a cool or cold weather. We both love to fish turtle bay at twin hills at East lake Okoboji. Easy walleye fishing after a hard day of work. The frogs would come into turtle bay and a jig with green and white would take some nice size walleye. You could hear them glauming the frogs and knew you would have good night of fishing. Then we would move about two blocks down and fish Jim Stone jigs for the hawg walleye that would come on the flats on turtle bay. We would take back 10 walleye from 10 to 4 lbs. We would take the cheeks and livers fry the as a appetizer before dinner. Filet the walleye and eat dinner. Fun times times I wish I could relive.
Enjoy my friend another story from my youth. It may add some knowledge to how we did things.
All the best,
Redmanackground information before a complie a document of this time.