I was browsing the Google Books archive, and stumbled onto this Popular Mechanics article from 1915 that gives a basic rundown of the equipment that one would need to begin fly fishing.
Popular Mechanics May 1915
There are some good quotes in here, like:
“A good reel that is smoothing-running like a watch will cost around $10…”
“The leader for trout is preferably of single gut…”
“The question may arise, Is a split-bamboo rod necessary?”