"The Hat" was purchased in the summer of 1977 in West Yellowstone, Montana at Eagle's Store. It was sold to me by Walter "Wally" Eagle himself. For those of you that have spent any time in West Yellowstone, you know Eagle's Store. If you have ever driven into or out of the West entrance to Yellowstone NP, you drove right past Eagle's Store. It is located on the corner of Canyon St. and Yellowstone Ave. Yellowstone Ave. is the street that leads into YNP and Canyon St. is the "main drag" of West Yellowstone. The store opened in 1908 and was one of the first three business in West Yellowstone. It is now on the National Registry of Historical Places. Perhaps more on my West Yellowstone experiences later...back to "The Hat".
Why I bought a straw hat in the first place is a mystery to me...straw is not the best choice in the rain and I seem to fish in the rain quite a lot. Eagle's Store sold all of the very best brands of "cowboy" hats and boots. I also have (had) 2 pairs of their boots and in the early 80's I replaced this hat with a Stetson 4X Beaver (perhaps another story). As I recall, the Stetson was at the insistence of my wife (ex) Barbara as "The Hat" had fallen into "disrepair" and "appearances are important".
Again, I still have "The Hat". The view with the goose feather shows two stoneflies. The one to the front (nymph) caught my first 22+ rainbow on a float down the "Box"...a lave rock canyon located just below the Island Park dam on the Henry's Fork in 1979.