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The Fly Fishing Enthusiast's Online Magazine
'The Fraternity of Fly Fishers'
September 2016

"To fish fine and far off is the first and principal rule for trout-angling."
~ Charles Cotton, 1676

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Trico Spinners - Image by Tom Travis


For several years our local TU Chapter took part in an activity of the Kiwanis Club which consisted of bringing inner city kids to a facility that contained a spring fed five-acre pond. The day before it was liberally stocked with rainbow trout with some of better than average size.

All parties reported to a nice little park across the road from the facility to sign up all the kids so that several Kiwanis members' wives' could pre-print up certificates with the kids name on them to give out after the luncheon they also provided when the fishing was over.

The kids also had to attend a quick five-minute lecture on safety near the water, instructions on being careful with hooks and what was going to happen after they walked down to the pond to fish.


Since the first trips that I can recall fishing has been important to me for several reasons. The first and most apparent reason was that I saw how much my Dad enjoyed it and how much it obviously meant to him. That alone as a boy was enough to make me want to participate. Next was the chance to spend time with my Dad, uncles and a host of family friends. And most importantly, the enjoyment I personally experienced while fishing. Early on I realized that being on the water was something I loved as well, and early on I was fortunate enough to experience success.


In 1910 G. E. M. Skues published Minor Tactics of the Chalk Stream. The minor tactic that Skues spent most his time on was the casting of single wet flies upstream to visible feeding trout.

Skues was not the first to write about casting wet flies upstream to feeding fish, Robert Venables wrote on this topic in 1662, Richard Bowlker also discusses the topic in 1747 and more recently William C. Stewart wrote about this very same topic in 1857. However, Skues was the first to write about this topic in relation to the chalk stream sense Frederic M. Halford has published his highly acclaimed Floating Flies and How to Dress Them in 1886 and Dry Fly Fishing in Theory and Practice in 1889. During this time period the Dry Fly theory was the dominant theory for the chalk streams and the angler cast upstream to trout that were feeding and visible to the angler.


As I have mentioned time to time, I don't know if I ever go somewhere and fish for Atlantic salmon. But also I understand what I do at my bench with Atlantic salmon flies: framing them and pursuing the ultimate skills. So I hadn't considered obtaining books regarding actual and practical fishing for Atlantic salmon. Even if I had one, what would I read and learn for dressing display flies? That could have been true when I just started and was struggling to get a hang of it.


On some online site I saw a fly that had flash on the abdomen and that stirred my imagination. So, I produced the following fly. It may not be original with me but I thought that I would share it with you.


Several years ago, for a local publication, I wrote an article entitled "Finding The Challenge." The gist of the article was directed at on ongoing controversy, which still continues today, centered on fishing for spawning trout. Like most of the serious articles that I have written over the last several decades it was intended to stimulate discussion and cause the reader to think about the issue. I always try to inform and make the reader think. It is my considered opinion that thinking about what we are doing and why we are doing it is a practice that is all too seldom undertaken. In my two plus decades as a municipal judge I became keenly aware that many of the folks that appeared before the court would not likely have been there if they had observed those two maxims.


Curmudgeon I am so it was with no small bit of satisfaction that I read the following account.

"A young girl from San Francisco has become the youngest gold medal winner in the history of world sporting events. Maxine McCormick, 12, won the medal in this year's World Championships of Fly Casting. She actually tied her own coach, Chris Korich, in the event, with both earning top honors."


I think the title of this book is a bit pretentious but the author has done an admirable job in laying the ground work for a study of the history of flies used for fishing.


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