The Dry Fly

by Conrad Voss Bark

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The dry fly has long presented a design challenge to the angler. In the early 1900s, the best fishing minds, most prominently Halford, applied themselves to creating perfect replicas of the natural insect which would sit high on the water surface. Then came Colonel Harding and his watertank. This lead to the theory that trout do not see flies as we do: therefore dry flies should be tied to create the right impression, as seen from a trout's underwater perspective. At different times in history, the arguments have raged: colour and shape have gone in and out of fashion, the importance of outlines and silhouettes have waxed and waned. New ideas have embraced attempts to hide the hook, to turn the fly upside-down, to make it always land the right way up, to suggest 'ghost wings', to make it unsinkable, and so on. Men like Halford, Harding, Skues, Lunn, Marinaro, Wulff – and more recently Goddard, Clarke, Patterson, Jorgensen – these men and many others have introduced significant changes to the way we tie flies and to our understanding of how trout perceive them.They have been responsible for such flies as the Adams, the Funneldun, the Bi-Visible and the Upside-Down fly, which have had a lasting influence on the sport. In this book, Conrad Voss Bark reveals the turbulent development of the dry fly throughout the twentieth century. In his usual lively and incisive style, he brings an important aspect of angling history to life.


4 Colour photographs, 8 Black & white photographs, 79 Black & white illustrations


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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