"This fly was the favorite of William James Lunn,
about whom the book River Keeper was
written by John Waller Hills in 1934. At that time
Lunn had been a "river keeper" on the Test for
forty-seven years and had been tying flies eighteen
It was in 1917, when the River Keeper was fishing
with a Mr. Gilbey, of London Gin fame, on Park Stream,
fishing was poor, and Mr. Gilbey complained to Lunn,
"The trout are too particular today." Lunn gave
him a new fly which immediately took three trout.
On inquiry from Gilbey, "What's this fly?", the
reply was: "It's Lunn's Particular."
"Particular" in England is sort of slang
expression meaning "particular favorite"
and is applied, usually to liquor. "A pint
of Mr. Jones' particular," the bar girl will
call out, meaning Mr. Jones' favorite beer,
which he always calls for. There are, or were,
a number of English brands of ale or liquor
which used the work "particular" as part of
their name - "Burton's Particular", or something
like that, implying that this tipple was the
"particular" favorite of many drinkers.
So Lunn was really making a little joke when
he told Gilbey, a liquor distiller, that this
fly was his "particular."
It is rated by Hills as Lunn's best fly, even
better than his Houghton Ruby. This name is
after the Houghton Fishing Club, formed in 1822,
where Lunn was keeper. Both of these flies of
Rhode Island coloration. The dressing of Lunn's
Body: Undyed hackle stalk of Rhode Island cock hackle.
As compared to Halford's correct imitations,
Lunn tied his to please the fish, and the ties
had the appearance of studied carelessness, being
loosely dressed and indefinite in shape. Lunn
had forty patterns, sixteen winged, thirteen
hackle, seven spent spinners and four nymphs,
showing the growing preference for hackled
Wing: Two flat medium blue cock hackle points, put on flat.
Tail: Four fibres of Rhode Island from large hackles.
Mr. Hills also wrote A History of Fly Fishing.
Credits: Text and recipe from Fly
Patterns and Their Origins by Harold