Macedonians Invented Fly-Fishing

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  • George S.
    I never realized that Reaching for your fly has got connotations.

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  • vicsinad
    From Page 20 of the October 1952 issue of Pennsylvania Angler:

    ANGLERS who enjoy fishing with
    artificial flies do not always
    realize that fly fishing began as early
    as the second century, when a Roman
    author described a crude sort of wet
    fly then used on rivers in Macedonia.

    Fly fishing, however, did not reach
    its golden age until the days of Izaac
    Walton and Charles Cotton, a generation
    or so after Columbus discovered

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  • The LION will ROAR
    Macedonia using a form of fly-fishing to catch a fish 2000 years ago
    THE 150th anniversary of trout arriving in Tasmania was yesterday celebrated at the Australian Fly Fishing Museum at...

    Fly fishing goes all the way back to around 200 AD.
    The origin of fly fishing revealed at Discover the little known history of catching fish on flies.

    The first reference to it was written by Aelian who was born around 170 AD. Early in his life he knew nothing of the sea. In his early writing "On The Nature Of Animals" he writes about a certain way of catching fish supposedly invented by the Macedonians. A particular fish that runs through the Astraeus River in Macedonia happens to feed on flies that are peculiar to that region. These flies are not found anywhere else. The natives of the land called this species of fly Hippouros. These flies seek their food over the river and are never very far away from the fish in the river below. Because of this it is relatively easy for the fish to jump out of the water, catching the flies in their mouths and eating them.
    It is from seeing this that the Macedonian's got the idea to use these flies to catch the fish. However, because it is unclean for their people to touch this species of fly they had to develop a way to catch the fish without actually handling the flies. So what they did was fasten red wool around a hook. They then fixed onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock's wattles. The rod they used was six feet long and the line was also the same length. They then threw the line in the direction of the flies. The fish seeing this line which is disguised to look like the fly think they are going to have a nice meal and instead are caught by the fisherman's trap. Fly fishing was developed.
    It should be pointed out that according to accounts of what the fly looked like and what the actual "bait" looked like it would seem that the Macedonians didn't try to imitate the fly exactly, as the fly color was yellow and the bait color was red. Some speculation is that the fly changed color when near water but this was never proven.
    For those interested, the story above was taken from Radcliffe's "Fishing From The Earliest Times," which was published in 1921. This version of the story is the one most often printed with no credit given to the original author. Radcliffe himself states that he adapted this translation from "Lambert's Angling Literature in England" first published in 1881. Prior to this there was a Latin translation which was printed in 1558. This printing however wasn't discovered until 1834.

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  • The LION will ROAR

    Includes a 72-minute DVD demonstrating basic nymph fishing techniques Color photo sequences to teach 11 different nymph fishing methods, including Czech, hinged leader, Leisenring lift, and wet-fly swing Detailed information on imitating mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, true flies, scuds, and sow bugs In nature nothing happens without a reason. The difficulty for the angler is merely that the reason is hidden some way beneath the surface.--G. E. M. SkuesDuring the considerable periods of time trout spend feeding exclusively on underwater food forms, nymph fishing can be the most productive, if not the only way to catch fish. But understanding what occurs below the water's surface can be a challenge for even the most experienced angler. In Nymph-Fishing Rivers and Streams, aquatic entomologist and long-time fly fisherman Rick Hafele shares the information necessary to successfully decipher the mysteries of trout life. He starts by explaining their feeding patterns--where trout feed, when they feed, and what's available for them to eat. Sections on tackle and pattern selection help anglers sort through equipment and imitations to find the best outfit for their needs. The DVD complements the photos in the book that show various methods for nymph fishing. Also included is an angler's field guide to nymphs with details on their habitat, importance to trout, and the most effective patterns and fishing tactics to imitate them.

    In the sixteen years since the last edition of Von Brant’s classic work was published, fishing and fisheries have undergone vast changes. Not only has there been great progress in the development of new tools, materials and techniques, but the industry has seen an increasing need to address controversial issues such as declining fish stocks, enormous quantities of bycatch and discard and the impact of towed fishing gear on the environment. Fully revised and updated to reflect such changes, the fourth edition of this widely read and popular book offers: A unique, comprehensive survey of the evolution of fishing methods throughout the world Approximately 750 illustrations showing the extensive range of methods, techniques and equipment used in fishing across the globe Fishing gear classified according to the FAO system Additional chapters: Fishing Effects on Fish Stocks and Environment and Fishery and Gear Research All researchers, fisheries scientists, fisheries students, administrators and libraries in universities and research establishments where fish and fisheries are studied and taught will find this book a valuable addition to their shelves. Commercial and sports fishermen will also find Fish Catching Methods of the World a fascinating and vital reference.

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  • The LION will ROAR
    started a topic Macedonians Invented Fly-Fishing

    Macedonians Invented Fly-Fishing

    Many credit the first recorded use of an artificial fly to the Roman Claudius Aelianus near the end of the 2nd century. He described the practice of Macedonian anglers on the Astraeus River:

    ...they have planned a snare for the fish, and get the better of them by their fisherman's craft. . . . They fasten red wool. . . round a hook, and fit on to the wool two feathers which grow under a cock's wattles, and which in color are like wax. Their rod is six feet long, and their line is the same length. Then they throw their snare, and the fish, attracted and maddened by the color, comes straight at it, thinking from the pretty sight to gain a dainty mouthful; when, however, it opens its jaws, it is caught by the hook, and enjoys a bitter repast, a captive.
    In his book Fishing from the Earliest Times, however, William Radcliff (1921) gave the credit to Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis), born some two hundred years before Aelianus, who wrote:
    ...Who has not seen the scarus rise, decoyed and killed by fraudful flies...
    The last word, somewhat indistinct in the original, is either "mosco" (moss) or "musca" (fly) but catching fish with fraudulent moss seems unlikely.[1]
    Last edited by The LION will ROAR; 05-06-2014, 12:57 AM.