Recently I was very pleased to receive an old fly wallet from a friend, the wallet was produced as "The Companion to Alfred Ronald's Fly Fishers Entomology" with extracts from the Sixth Edition (published in 1862) - see the attached photographs.
The leather wallet pig skin has two pockets at front and one at the rear, it also has typed Thirteen parchment pages (front cover and twelve pages giving recommended flies for each month of the fishing season), also six double sided parchment pages of cast pockets and a single plain parchment page in the center of the wallet. The wallet also contained a few old flies tied directly to the gut casts.
The UK Wheatley fly box museum site show a similar number of wallets and suggests manufacturing dates of between 1862 and 1912; Clive Edwards at the museum has looked at photographs of the wallet and commented as follows:
"This is one of the earlier types that can be Allocated to Wheatley. As it is the unmarked maker can never be Positively identified. There are many types of Ronald Fly Wallets or Books and the museum have a number of them in the collection.
I have listed below the recommended 9 flies on the pages for March in the wallet:
· Red Fly (February Red or Old Joan)
· Blue Dun (Also called the Cock Cock Tail Wing or in earlier editions)
· Red Spinner
· Water Cricket
· Great Dark Drone
· Cowdung Fly
· Peacock Fly (a beetle)
· March Brown
· Great Red Spinner (Spinner of the March Brown)
I have got dressings for the above from the Second Edition (1839), please let me know if you want details.
The photograph of the Blue Duns, tied to the gut, do not appear to be original as their bodies look to be dubbed with mole's fur and the Ronald's dressing calls for the use of dubbed hare's fur.