Friday, July 02, 2010

An Old Fly Box

I have this old fly box.
It has no monetary value and isn’t worth anything except to me as it belonged to MY DAD… Orville Albert Burton.

Orville was born August 10, 1918 on his father’s farm; the nearest town was/is Padroni, Colorado which is located north of Sterling, Colorado and not too far from the Nebraska border. MY DAD was inducted into the Army in November 1944 and died October 25, 1945, near Tancarville, France.

I have few memories of MY DAD; one of them is fishing with him and his brother Marvin Burton somewhere around Steamboat Springs, Colorado; where we lived at the time. I can remember them hooking a fish and handing me the fly rod and letting me land it which was a “BIG DEAL” as I was around three years old at the time (Incidentally I was born at the old Routt County Hospital in Steamboat Springs in 1941.)

Back to the fly box; I was helping my mother (Margaret) go through some of her large collection of old stuff and determining what needed to be kept and what needed to be thrown away when we found the “box”. I wondered what it was used for and why she kept it. She said it was MY DAD’s fly box and she was saving it for me but due to the passage of time had forgotten about it. It certainly is not representative of today’s fly boxes.

Needless to say I could not wait to check it out. Upon opening all I found were some rusty hooks, bits and pieces of feathers and some badly deteriorated felt and other stuff.  MY DAD apparently stuck his flies in a piece of felt to dry and for storage.


Pictures of MY DAD on his last fishing trip in July or August 1944.

I have since cleaned and waxed the box to use myself when I retro-fish using a bamboo or fiberglass rod, antique Pflueger Medalist or South Bend/Shakespeare Automatic Reel while carrying an antique Willow Creel that Richard, a very good friend gave to me. I may even wear a sport coat, fedora (wish I could afford a Panama Straw) and irrigation boots, like MY DAD is wearing in the above pictures. Maybe even a necktie?

This outfit will guarantee me a spot any place on the stream/river as people will be trying to flee from THE GHOST OF FISHING SEASONS PAST!
Thanks DAD for instilling the thrill of fly-fishing in my soul!
            By Larry O Jurgens nee Burton


  1. Jay told me this morning that I needed to go back through your archived posts, and find this one. I'm so glad I did. I have similar photos of my grandfather fishing. He was a fly fisherman too. Perhaps it's a genetic trait...? This was a beautiful post, Larry, just beautiful...and I hope to glimpse your "ghost" out on the river fishing bamboo someday.

  2. Thank you for sharing photos of your dad. So glad to read he took the time to pass on HIS skills of Fly Fishing.