Man has been fishing for trout and salmon with the fly since the time of the Ancient Greeks. Devising ever more ingenious methods of doing so, his rods, reels, lines and flies have evolved in fascinating ways.
With a delightful blend of wit and erudition, Conrad Voss Bark tells the story of flyfishing, from the Macedonian 'plumes' of old to the hairwing streamers of today.
He spotlights the sport's formative protagonists - Juliana Berners, Robert Venables, Isaak Walton, Charles Cotton, Alfred Ronalds, George Kelson, J.C. Mottram, Dr Bell, and many others, using his journalist's skills to appraise the prevailing dogmas, the breakthroughs in tackle and to re-live the great debates and controversies, including the famous Skues-Halford dispute.
Throughout, flyfishing is seen against the broader canvas of changing times in Britain, Ireland and North America.
Today there are new forces which are shaping flyfishing history: water pollution, drift netting, over-kill, timeshare, catch-and-release and the explosion of new materials from which tackle and flies are made.
Not since Waller Hills' classic History of Flyfishing for Trout of 1921, has a broad survey of this fascinating sport been tackled with such individual style and verve.
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