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Ronan's report

Tuesday July 11th, 2006

Two books hold pride of place on my shelves; 'Caddisflies' and 'The Dry Fly, New Angles' by Gary LaFontaine.

My copy of The Dry Fly is particularly treasured. I bought it on eBay for the pricely sum of $40, and when it eventually arrived I discovered to my surprise and delight it was a signed first edition and still had the original one page newsletter from Gary tucked into the dust cover. Each one of those first editions included a note and fly tied from the vice of Gary LaFontaine - Unfortunately my copy didn't still have the fly with it and I've often wondered what fly it was, an Airhead or Sparkle Pupa perhaps?

At the end of Gary's little note he explains how he "tied 3000 flies last summer" and goes on to say "3000 more people will get their fly at a later date. I will tie 60 flies every morning before work and send them to people who didn't get a fly right away with their book" - amazing.

I reckon one of the most compelling reasons to read anything by LaFontaine (and there are many) is the fact that his flys and theories were developed using the Scientific Method. As anglers we spend a lot of time postulating the mumbo jumbo of trout behaviour and fly selection when guys like LaFontaine have already done much of the hard graft for us.
All rubbish aside; any guy that had the balls to throw caution to the wind, buy some SCUBA gear and then sit in a river for three years studying Caddisflies and trout behaviour deserves to be read.

Along with my selection of Royal Wullfs you'll find plenty of flies by the late Mr LaFontaine.

~ Bumcast

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