This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the No. 2 Middle Shade Dun found in The Contemplative and Practical Angler by Joseph Wells (1842).

No. 8 Water-hen Bloa |

This fly might look familiar to you. It’s from a recent Throw Back Thursday Fly, the No. 8 Water-hen Bloa a fly I found in Yorkshire Trout Flies by T. E. Pritt (1885).

Here are the first three flies from page 43 of Wells’ chapter entitled, LIST OF ARTIFICIAL FLIES FOR TROUT AND GRAYLING. I’ve added BOLD for the fly I’m highlighting.

“No. 1. Light dun made of a light dun feather from the neck of a dun hen, or from under the snipe’s wing, with light yellow or straw coloured silk body, and a little water rat’s fur over for dubbing; size of hook No. 1 or 2.

No. 2. Middle shade dun, made from a dun feather a shade darker than the above, yellow silk body, and water rat’s or mole’s fur for dubbing; hook 1 or 2.

No. 3. Dark dun, made of a feather from the merlin hawk, or from the butt of a mallard’s wing, light ash or lead coloured silk, and mole’s fur for dubbing; hook No. 1 or 2.

These three flies may always be depended upon early in Spring, and late in Autumn, when the weather is cool, and likewise all the season on mornings and evenings if cool, and particularly for clear waters: these flies, made with a light orange body, frequently take fish well in brown water.”

This fly is a perfect example of why I started Throw Back Thursday Flies. In my view, it’s the same fly someone referenced 43 years earlier in 1842.

We still do the same today.

I encourage you to review my Links to Free Old Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Books page where you’ll find 57 links to books from the years 1740 – 1944. You can easily find the “Links” 2/3 of the way down on my homepage in the Other Resources section.

The following download links were recently added.

The Experienced Angler by Colonel Robert Venables (1827)

Salmonia, or, Days of Fly Fishing by by Sir Humphry Davy (1828)

British Angling Flies by Michael Theakston (1862)

Fly-rods and Fly-tackle by Henry Wells (1901)

Tales of Fishes by Zane Grey (1919)

It’s still winter and a perfect time to select an old book and give it a read.

Enjoy…go fish, stay safe!

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