By December 27, 2019 Read More →

Morgantown, W.Va., man carries on father’s fly-tying legacy

By John McCoy, Charleston Gazette-Mail

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Every time Joe Messinger Jr. ties one of his trademark deer-hair frogs, he’s carrying on a family legacy that dates back almost a century.

His father, Joe Messinger Sr., invented the Messinger Bucktail Frog for one overarching purpose — to catch bass. The pattern proved so effective, and so durable, that the lures sometimes lasted for decades.

Joe Messinger Jr. ties one of his Messinger BuckTail frogs. Photo by John McCoy

“Dad came up with the pattern sometime around 1920, and he tied it until he passed away in 1966,” Joe Jr. said. “Some of his frogs are still circulating around, mainly among collectors.”

They’re prized because they’re made using techniques few fly tiers have ever mastered. “A handful of people have learned to tie the frog,” Joe Jr. said, “but, as far as I know, only Dad and I, and my son Jody, have ever tied them extensively.” …

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