Flyfishers' Club

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The Flyfishers' Club
Motto

Piscator Non Solum Piscatur[1]

("It is not all of fishing to fish")
Formation 1884 (1884)
Location
Patron
Charles, Prince of Wales
Website www.flyfishersclub.org.uk

The Flyfishers' Club is a gentlemen's club in London which was founded in 1884 for enthusiasts of flyfishing.[2] In 1894, the club had more than three hundred members, while in 1984 this number had risen to between eight and nine hundred.[3][4]

History[edit]

The club's library has been described as one of the finest of its kind in Europe;[4] it has a collection of around three thousand works on the subject of fishing, including works such as the successful Floating Flies and How to Dress Them and Dry Fly Fishing in Theory and Practice by F.M. Halford, one of the club's co-founders.[3] Many well-known anglers are club members, and have contributed signed copies of their publications to the library.

According to Basil Field, the founding president, the original prospectus described the club's purposes as follows:

"To bring together gentlemen devoted to fly-fishing generally.
"To afford a ready means of communication between those interested in this delightful art.
"To provide in the reading-room, in addition to all the usual newspapers, periodicals, &c., catalogues, and books, foreign as well as English, having reference to fishing, particularly to fly-fishing so as to render the club a means of obtaining knowledge about new fishing places and vacancies for rods, and making it a general medium of information on all points relating to the art."[5]

The club publishes a long-standing magazine, the Flyfishers' Journal; writers included G. E. M. Skues, who has been described as "one of the greatest trout fishermen that ever lived."[6][7][8] Skues dedicated his 1921 book, The Way of a Trout with the Fly to The Flyfishers' Club "in gratitude for many happy hours and some priceless friends".[9] In 1938, a debate was held at the club on Skues's controversial theories about the use of nymphs in fly-fishing, which led him to publish Nymph Fishing for Chalk Stream Trout.[7]

The club also has a museum of fishing memorabilia which holds a rod used by David Garrick and a case of flies reputed to have belonged to Izaak Walton.[10] Other items include a rod box originally exhibited in The Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace in 1851 and a pirn (used as an alternative to a fishing reel) which belonged to the "Ettrick Sheppherd" James Hogg.[11][12]

Premises[edit]

The Flyfishers’ has had a number of homes. It had no permanent home of its own for the first four years of its existence, but opened its first rooms of its own in the Arundel Hotel in 1888, then moved to No. 8 Haymarket in 1889 and remained there until 1907, when it moved to Swallow Street, Piccadilly. It stayed there until destroyed in The Blitz in 1941. Since then it has leased premises in several other London clubs. Today, the Club leases rooms in the Savile Club, 69 Brook Street in central London.

Notable members[edit]

Its current patron is Charles, Prince of Wales.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Clarke, Brian (2008-04-07). "More to this sport than meets the fly". The Times. p. 57. 
  2. ^ "Flyfishers' Club". The Times. 1934-03-03. p. 9. 
  3. ^ a b "Fishing Facts in England, expressed in club membership, library and reports" (PDF). The New York Times. 1894-07-22. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  4. ^ a b Voss Bark, Conrad (1984-05-08). "Sight too frightening for the eyes of a ghost". The Times. p. 24. 
  5. ^ "The Fly-fishers' Club". Fortnightly Review. 2010-05-30. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  6. ^ The Media Business Group (1990-05-24). "Media Snap: Angling magazines hook more readers". PR Week. Haymarket Publishing Services Ltd. 
  7. ^ a b Robson, Kenneth (2004). H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, ed. Skues, George Edward Mackenzie (1858–1949). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  8. ^ Herd, Dr. Andrew N. "G.E.M. Skues". Fly Fishing History. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  9. ^ Skues, G. E. M. (1921). The Way of the Trout with a Fly (PDF). A & C Black, London. 
  10. ^ "The Fly-fishers' Club". The Irish Times. 1934-05-23. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  11. ^ A Correspondant (1916-03-11). "Salmon Fishing as it used to be". The Times. 
  12. ^ King, Robert (1999-06-23). "Gavin hooks angling contract". Aberdeen Press and Journal. 
  13. ^ Mannion, Jenne (8 August 2003). "Hooked on the dream of country life". The Independent. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 

References[edit]

  • Anonymous, The Book of the Flyfishers' Club, 1884-1934 (Croydon: Croydon Advertiser Printing Works, 1934)
  • Jack Chance and Julian Paget (ed.), The Flyfishers’: An Anthology to mark the Centenary of The Flyfishers’ Club 1884–1984 (1984)
  • Ken Robson (ed.), Flyfishers’ Progress

External links[edit]