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
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
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
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
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.