Published Nov 30. 1998

Philatelic phlies

Do Postal Services have notions of flyfishing? Do flyfishers have something in common with stamp collectors?

The Transkei series

Kent's Marbled Sedge
White Marabou
Mayfly Nymph
Silver Wilkson

Do Postal Services have notions of flyfishing?
Do flyfishers have something in common with stamp collectors?

Is there something compatible between the two hobbies?
Totally different worlds it would seem. Mostly so, my Friends, but not always. There are times, few and far between, when these two different worlds meet.

Gathering dust

Some 15 years ago, 1984 I think it was, the President of the province of Transkei, South Africa, an avid flyfisher so the story goes, decided to have a series of stamps made, depicting trout and salmon flies. The Silver Wilkinson, the Alexandra, the Ginger Quill, the Hardy's Favourite and the like, were put out on stamps worth 20 cents each.

This was done for a number of years, and although I am not a collector, I discovered I still had a few series gathering dust in some hidden drawer in my attic.

The Canadian Series

Coquihalle Orange

Steelhead Bee

Dark Montreal

Lady Amherst

Coho Blue

Cosseboom Special

Canadian beauties

And then again... more flyfishing stamps earlier this year! Post Canada came out with a lovely series of 6 large stamps, worth 45 cents each. They feature wonderful creations such as the Cosseboom Special, the Coho Blue, the Dark Montreal, (formerly also known as the Canada Fly), the Steelhead Bee, the Coquihalla Orange and the Lady Amherst. What a charming girl with her silvery wings, giving me a wink with her Jungle Cock eyes: will you tie me, Maestro, pleeeeze.
I saw the Canadian stamps in a German flyfishing magazine for the first time this summer and they gave me an idea. Yes! I am going to get me a couple of sets, I'll tie the flies, I'll get me some goodlooking matboard material, some nice wood for the frame. I'll make something nice out of it.

The US Series

Subsequently, in 1991 - if internal memory serves me right - the United States Postal Service came out with a flyfishing stamp series, showing Lee's Royal Wulff, Stu's Apte Tarpon Fly, Kreh's Lefty's Deceiver, Don Gapen's Muddler Minnow, and a beautiful Jock Scott created by John Scott almost 150 years ago. And again in that same drawer, in that same attic, covered with a thin layer of that same dust, I found a few of those. My good friend and colleague, Marvin Nolte, presented me with a flyplate containing these stamps and the flies that he had tied. This plate is now on one of the walls of my den of inequity here. I am looking at the plate while writing this story. Beautiful flies that bar none.

Royal Wulff
Jock Scott
Apte Tarpon Fly
Lefty's Deciever
Muddler Minnow

Final mounting in the frame

Pictures by courtesy of Bart van der Schrieck

The spark

And then the whole idea was put in storage somewhere in the back of my mind it had almost disappeared. It was not until October that some of my colleagues, fellow members of the Dutch Flyfishers Guild, came back from a steelhead fishing trip to British Columbia and they showed me the stamps which they had purchased in a local post office in BC!
"One set is for you, Bas and here's what we want you to do"
"I know what you want me to do guys. You want me to tie the flies and frame them together with the stamps", I said, smiling big.
"Thanks, Bart, for bringing that idea back to the surface for me."

Philatelic thanks

My heartfelt thanks also go out to the people of FF@ and Flytie@ lists who have been so very helpful in getting me a substantial supply of the stamps. Lindsey, Tom, Paul Thanks ever so much! That was a stroke of genius, Joyce! Glad you whispered that in my ears.

So, here they are my Philatelic Phlies Limited Edition another phantastic project. Although it would be quite within the scope of the Global Fly Fisher website to give tying details of each individual fly, and information about the framing, this would be very time-consuming. And, I have flies to tie and mount, wood and matboard to cut remember? Oh, alright then, contact for further details, if you have to.
Stiff hackles!
Bas, Phrantically phraming

PS: New Zealand Stamps

The stamp story got a little post scriptum. After a couple of weeks on the air, Bas sent this notice:

As I told you on the phone, I am getting 'static' from the New Zealanders asking me: "Nice article, Bas, but... where are our stamps?". You told me we can solve that problem. People are sending me a few sets. One is for the web site. Here they are:

The NZ series



Hi This is Barry Kent, I have been living in Florida, USA for the past 19 years.
Your website came to my attention and especially the piece about the Transkei fly stamps.
I have put up a website to expain to everyone the true story of how these stamps came into existence.
goto for more info. I plan to expand this site soon. to explain and show the other events that took place during my 20 years in Southern Africa. I have never stopped tying but now I tie saltwater and FD salmon flies for framing. Wish I had known earlier that one of you was in Florida last month. We have OUTSTANDING backcountry saltwater fishing here in Central Florida.

My name is Jose Antonio,I am a spanish collector, and fisherman.
It has surprised me, pleasurably, to find this site. I want to ask: do the series pointed out here only exist? Where can I find more information it has more than enough flies?
Dry and drowned flies.
Jose Antonio

i have the 1984 transkei fly fishing stamps 5 of them mounted in a frame, any idea what they worth, mint cond

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