Back when the Pat Barnes Fly Shop in West Yellowstone, Montana was going strong in the mid-40s through the early-70s, his wife, Sigrid tied a lot of flies for the shop while Pat was out guiding. The fly-tying machine she used was very special. A man from California sold them the vise after watching Sig tie in the shop one day. He claimed with the machine his son built, she could tie two flies faster than she could tie one.
The vise was built on a sewing machine base. It was the old treadle kind. You know, the kind you operated with your feet. This was a rotary vise and the treadle was used to rotate the fly while the tyer would guide the materials. The treadle was split so it could be rotated in both directions. This was really something to see back in those days.
In the photo above you can see the jaws of the vise holding a red Goofus Bug. As you can see, the jaws were quite different as well. To the best of my knowledge the vise is now in a museum in West Yellowstone.
Speaking of Goofus Bug. Sometimes you will hear the term Humpy. This is the same thing. In the book, Ribbons of Blue – The Life and Lore of the “Old Pro” Pat Barnes, one of Pat’s former guides, Paul Roos says in his memories he can still see Sig. “She’s sitting at her tying bench in the tackle shop and she’s tying another Sig Barnes Ginger Goofus—the kind that I have caught 35 trout on without having the fly fall apart. As I walk in, she looks up and says, “Good morning, Paul!”