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Old 09-10-2012, 04:00 AM
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Default London Club to celebrate fly fishing far from home

By Gordon M. Wickstrom via dailycamera.com



It's said that Denver is now the capital of American fly fishing. Helping to prove it, two of us overseas members of the venerable and premier London Flyfishers' Club, are hosting the first formal Flyfishers' Club dinner ever held on this side of the Atlantic. This historic event is taking place on Thursday at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.

G.William Fowler of Odessa, Texas, and I are in charge. My lawyer friend Bill Fowler has written a definitive account of this gentleman's social club in London and himself frequents the club's rooms in Brook Street. Some will recall that I once wrote and produced at the Library a play imagining a furious debate between the two most famous members of the club, Frederick M. Halford who gave us the dry fly as we know it and G.E.M. Skues. He shook the trout fishing world by introducing the wet fly and nymph to the hallowed chalk streams south of London in the 1890s.

Continuing the club's tradition at such formal dinners (this one afar from London at the splendid Brown Palace) Boulder's Anders Halverson, amid some little ceremony, will address the company. Halverson is today's most provocative and fascinating writer on trout and their geographies. His book, "An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World" changes minds everywhere it is read and predicts deep change in managing and angling for trout. It is as critical an issue as the virulent Halford/Skues stand-off at the club in London over a century ago. Harry Briscoe, President of "Hexagraph Fly Rods" of Houston, will respond to Halverson's remarks.

Both Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales, the club's patron, have sent us their warm greetings.

Fowler has said that there is nothing quite as satisfying as researching the great Halford in the elegant club rooms in Brook Street, in the finest of all fly fishing libraries, surrounded with artifacts of four centuries of angling. As for me, you can imagine the pleasure of sitting at dinner "over there" and looking up to see my own books on the shelves of that library.

Next morning some of the diners will be going out after Front Range trout, helping to prove that Denver is indeed the exact center of American fly fishing, whether with Halford's high floating dry flies or Skues' deep-sunk nymphs--still a matter of controversy even in Colorado. And all of it redounding to The Flyfishers' Club of London and its contribution to American fly fishing.

Gordon M. Wickstrom lives in Boulder.
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