Friday, 11 December 2020

Hero vs. Villain. Halford or Skues?




Here are our protagonists. The imperious, wealthy industrialist Frederic Halford who messianically invoked the cult of dry fly. In the opposing corner George Skues, intellectual Winchester educated solicitor who seemed to have a point to prove.


Dry fly vs nymph. Which is better? Which is true fly fishing? Or are they both equally legitimate? Do you prefer one over the other? Is a trout caught on a nymph less of a fish than one caught on a dry fly?


Join Charles Jardine and myself as we discuss this piscatorial moral maze in a vlogcast live from Nether Wallop Mill. Register here or email for the 11am Zoom call, with a Q&A afterwards, on Friday December 18th



Frederic Halford George Skues


Introducing our protagonists


The dry fly - F M Halford

Though Frederic Halford (1844-1914) is often credited with 'inventing' the dry fly he didn't really; he rather codified and collated a type of imitative pattern that was gradually gaining a foothold with the fishermen of the mid-Victorian era; until that point they had mostly been practicing across-and-downstream wet fly and dapping. But this intellectual nicety aside there can't be much doubt that he ushered into the wider world a method that some call the crack cocaine of fly fishing.


The nymph - GEM Skues

To some this method of fishing is still the spawn of the devil but there can be no argument that George Skues (1858-1949) was the inventor, bringing the same imitative rigour to sub-surface patterns that Halford had done for those on the surface. Skues didn't get much thanks in his lifetime, vilified by Halford's disciples, but it is a fair bet that across the globe that for every fish caught on a dry, twenty are caught on a nymph.



Video of the week


For a bit of light-hearted relief check out the view of our old friend Hank Patterson who offers his 21st century take of dry vs. nymph vs. lure.


Hank Patterson & The Bait Fishers Part 2


I'll be back next Friday (18/Dec) with the final Newsletter of the year, a year I saw best summarised on a pantomine billboard: 2020 - Its behind you.


Have a good weekend.


Best wishes,



Simon Cooper

Founder & Managing






Time is precious. Use it fishing



The Mill, Heathman Street, Nether Wallop,

Stockbridge, England SO20 8EW United Kingdom

01264 781988



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