A History of Flyfishing

by Conrad Voss Bark

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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.


13 Black & white illustrations, 3 Colour illustrations, 8 Black & white photographs, 5 Colour photographs


Feb 01, 2021


About the Author:

Conrad Voss Bark had a distinguished career as a national newspaper journalist and parliamentary correspondent for the BBC.Following his retirement as a political commentator, he was for many years angling correspondent for The Times. He wrote a number of fishing books, including The Dry Fly: Progress since Halford, A Fly on the Water, The Encyclopaedia of Flyfishing, Conrad voss Bark on Flyfishing and A History of Flyfishing. He was fascinated by the theories and experiments that lie behind developments in angling practice and fly design. Conrad Voss Bark was a keen fisherman, enjoying his sport from his home waters of the West Country (where his wife Anne ran the famous angling hotel, The Arundell Arms) to the stately Hampshire Test, to Ireland's enchanting Erriff, and to the wide expanses of the spring creeks of Montana. He died in November 2000.

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