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Thread: THE ADAMS: FINAL CHAPTER - Old flies - Nov 19,2012

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Bothell, WA, USA
    Blog Entries

    Default THE ADAMS: FINAL CHAPTER - Old flies - Nov 19,2012

    The Adams fly is the most acclaimed fly pattern in the entire world. The original recipe for the pattern and the story of its origin has repeatedly been told and historically documented.
    I have been researching Leonard Halladay (1873-1952) and the Adams fly for over three years. Almost daily more information and new contacts are discovered. It's time to complete the story and share with you new information that has recently come to light about the Halladays and the Adams fly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Portage, PA


    Very nice article.

  3. #3


    Great read! Thanks much for all the research.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Ashburn, Virginia


    That was a nice read; thanks.


  5. #5

    Default Setting the record straight

    For Len Halladay's version of the origin of the Adams the reader should view Grandpa's Story---The Adams Fly, at youtube.com, tags Halladay, Adams.

    Mr. Deschaine has made many mistakes in this article even though on August 17, 2012 he wrote to me, "I have watched te (sic) video 6 times and took good notes." He watched it on YouTube. He mentions me several times in the article as a source of information. Thus, I am compelled to comment about his errors as they appear in his article.

    He dates his article, November 19, 2011, however it appeared on November 19, 2012. However, November 19, 2011 cannot be correct since we had one phone conversation on August 14, 2012, followed by many e-mails in which I gave him historical facts about the origin of the Adams, Halladay family history, and Len Halladay's fly tying techniques.

    I will address other errors as they appear in the text.

    Paragraph 2: Len Halladay, my Grandfather, was not born in 1873.

    Paragraph 4: His father and grandfather were self sufficient. His "most noted" job was not at the Mayfield Pond hydroelectric plant.

    Paragraph 5: Incorrect. Grandma and Grandpa were childhood friends. They had more than 6 children.

    Paragraph 6: The Smedley interview was not in the late 1940's. Interesting story about the Widdicomb fly. No one in our family ever heard it. It could be true. Mr. Deschaine should have referenced the source. If true, why didn't Grandpa add it to the list of flies he originated which is on the boxes in which he packaged his flies?

    Paragraph 7: Grandma did not die in 1959, but many years later. As of November, 2012, there are nine surviving grandchildren, not five as Mr. Deschaine writes.

    Paragraph 9: The first sentence, "Their idea was sound", is wrong. It was not a sound idea/investment. For several weeks, most summers in the 1920's, there was a young boy who, with his parents, visited and stayed with Grandma and Grandpa. He wrote, in the early 2000's, that there was never another paying guest during his visits. In the 1940's and through 1952 there were never any paying guests during my visits to Mayfield. Nor during that time do I remember Grandpa guiding any fishermen. The fly tying and guiding business was never much of a money maker. When Grandpa died he had a few mail orders for flies that winter. I tied the flies and filled the orders. When Grandma and Grandpa's children left home and had paying jobs, they regularly sent money to Grandma and Grandpa to pay bills. This started before WWI and continued until they died. It was a hard scrabble life for them as they raised their children.

    Paragraph 10: A great story. I have never heard if from any family member. It sure must have been a tight squeeze in the 4 stall barn for two cows and two teams of horses in the cold winters. A cousin who is the most knowledgeable about our family history (excluding fly tying techniques) does not remember this story. While Grandma and Grandpa were not poor, but nearly poor, they could not have afforded two motorized vehicles. They would not have used an open vehicle in winters. Edna Sargent identified the flivver as belonging to an uncle who is behind the wheel in the picture. Len Halladay is not in the picture.

    Paragraphs 11 and 12: They are incorrect as the public records show of the ownership of the land on which Grandma and Grandpa's house stood. The house was torn down before the land was donated to the park.

    Paragraph 13: Family members (dead and alive) will/have state/stated that I know all of Grandpa's fly tying techniques. When he died I had been tying flies his way for more than 10 years.

    Paragraph 14: The reel on which Halladay kept thread did not have a drag. It would be impossible to provide tension on the thread as described by Mr. Deschaine when tying flies as Grandpa did and as I still do. Mr. Deschaine never saw the reel.

    Paragraph 19: Mr. Deschaine examined the wool mending yarn which I gave him with a magnifying glass as well as the Kingsley Adams. I could see without a magnifying glass that the Kingsley fly has a yarn body. However, no one who has conducted science or engineering at a research university or in a high powered industrial environment would conclude that a magnifying glass examination proves that a "match existed".

    Paragraph 20: I know of the existence of several Adams flies tied by Grandpa.

    Cordially submitted,

    John Falk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Nunica Mi U S A


    Hello John. Unfortunately Mr. Deschaine is recently deceased or he could explain his sources and reasoning for his article. I think that I speak for many when I say that we would enjoy reading an article from you on your grandfather's tying methods. Oh yeah, welcome to FAOL.
    Guns don't kill children. Children do! Guns just make them so much more efficient.

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