After I'd got all the trout kit from its appointed places, in an idle moment I poked around in the depths of the far left bottom corner. Lurking there under a pile of spare salmon lines was one of my grandfather's salmon fly boxes. To be precise, a Hardy 'Neroda' bakelite box in 'Oxblood' shade. This first appeared in their catalogue in 1934, so this box is probably of pre-war vintage. The wear suggests that this had been a favourite. It had lain undisturbed in that corner of the GFC since I inherited it on my father's death in 1992.
The contents were an echo of times past. The flies are all tied on single hooks, the largest of which are around 4/0 long shank. Several have gut eyes, whipped onto the spade-ended shanks and concealed by the dressing. These are clearly visible in the photos below. Some have clearly been used. JW fished in Scotland and Ireland; and on the Tees, Wear, Ure, Axe, Exe and Torridge in England. I haven't seen flies hooked and dressed like this for over 50 years, and am unable to recognise the patterns.
If you recognise any of those patterns, please let me know via the Comment tab.
|JW in the 1950s
Salmon from the Axe or Exe
Hardy glass rod, Alcock multiplier
A Blackthorn Winter
We are currently undergoing a phenomenon known locally as a Blackthorn Winter, in that the blackthorn is flowering beautifully, but it still feels like winter - cool, windy and very, very dry - and most plants are running late. Last night we had 3 degrees of frost. We are almost at the end of April, and we've had 2 showers amounting to 4mm of rain against an average of 55mm. This follows March 18/50mm and February 14/70mm. Despite my exceptional efforts - washing the car, watering the vegetable patch - there's no sign of substantial rain. The garden is as dry as a bone and the rivers are exceptionally low for the time of year. The springers can't get up nor the kelts down. There isn't even enough water to exercise the Vision MAG 13 footer I've got on trial. As a result I'll have no salmon fishing to write about until all together you deliver a truly effective rain dance......please.
Very low, very clear, very bright, 10C
27th April 2015