This week’s Throw Back Thursday post is a new-to-me book entitled Brook and River Trouting.

Brook and River Trouting Book |

I recently purchased this hard-copy book through eBay. Brook and River Trouting was written by Harfield H. Edmonds and Norman N. Lee in 1916.

Brook and River Trouting Title Page |

Here is an excerpt from the Preface, which describes the purpose of the book:

When the writers began to take a practical interest in trout dressing they experienced great difficulty in determining the correct feathers for the various patterns as the older books on the subject of North Country flies are vague in the extreme…

…It was therefore felt that a book, which not only prescribed the exact part of a bird from which the correct feather should be taken, but illustrated such feathers and other materials (as also the flies made therefrom), in color, would be a help, at least to beginners in the craft, and not merely an encumbrance on angling literature.

I was interested in the old North County flies of England from the mid to late 1800’s and used several of them for Throw Back Thursday Fly posts. But the problem I had was understanding the materials used in these simple flies. The feathers were from birds unknown to me and I had to guess what they used.

A big help was when I purchased the book by Robert L. Smith entitled The North Country Fly: Yorkshire’s Soft Hackle Tradition. Smith provided information about substitute materials for the older soft hackle flies.

But when I added Brook and River Trouting to the books you can download for free on my Links to Free Old Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books page, I was pleased to see the color images of the real feathers used.

I have used the download book for assistace, but I found an original 1916 version and ended up purchasing the book.

Here are a few images of the pages.

This image of a Snipe wing illustrates areas of where to find appropriate feathers for listed flies.

Brook and River Trouting Wing |

A partial list of the 36 flies listed.

Brook and River Trouting Fly List |

Fly pattern information for the 36 flies.

Brook and River Trouting - Snipe and Purple |

This is an example of the information I was looking for. The feather detail is wonderful and I can now more easily find substitutes for the English feathers.

Brook and River Trouting Fly Coloured Plate Example |

Another example…

Brook and River Trouting Fly Dressing Materials |
Brook and River Trouting Coloured Plate Example |

The authors decided not to include directions how to tie flies. Instead, they stated the following book had already provided everything needed to tie these flies – The Trout Fly Dresser’s Cabinet of Devices or How to Tie Flies for Trout and Grayling Fishing by H. G. McClelland (1898; 2nd edition 1905; 3rd edition 1909; 4th edition 1919)

Brook and River Trouting is one of the books you can download for free from the list found on my Links to Free Old Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books page.

Now I can tie a few more of the old North Country soft hackle flies.

Enjoy… go fish!

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  1. Love this stuff and the folklore…but today it seems anything works. And what about the “urine stained fur from a vixen fox”…from my tying in the 1950’e…Swicher & Richards.

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