After 48 years of war neither Britain or the U.S. were interested in crossing swords again. Though weapons were put to rest, a battle for supremacy in word and print continued, until the turn of the next century.
One of the first incursions was leveled in 1835, by author Paul Fisher, in his book, The Angler’s Souvenir, where Fisher depicts a dialogue between two British anglers: Simpson and Fisher.
“Have you ever seen any American books on angling, Fisher?”
“No, I do not think there are any published. Brother Jonathan is not yet sufficiently civilized to produce anything original on the gentle art.”
Some years later, New York tackle dealer, John J Brown responded to Fisher’s jabs, in his own book, American Angler’s Almanac.
“From the foregoing extract it would seem that John Bull has a rather poor opinion of Brother Jonathan’s literary and piscatorial attainments. Now we courteously inform Mr. Bull that there are several works on fishing in this country, and that we are so civilized that we do not become gentlemen before we can use the rod – that we commence using the fishing rod at the same time that our schoolmaster begins with the birchen one… and though we do not find leisure to give our whole attention to it, that our numbers are legion, and among them some quite as scientific in literary and piscatorial attainments as those who angle on the other side of the Big Pond.”
Being looked down on, American anglers sought to prove their prowess by challenging the boundaries set by the British, who had dominated the sport of flyfishing for the previous three centuries. One of these ground breakers was adventurer and sport fishing journalist, US Army Maj.-Gen. George Gibson. As was typical of early American sportfishing writers, Gibson challenged accepted ideologies. In the following passage taken from an article he wrote, for the Turf Register (1838), he challenges Dame Juliana, and her treatise, which had been the standard and foundation of fly fishing for three and a half centuries.
“It is nonsense to believe there is a color for every month (this was a common notion, since the time of the treatise) it is not so for in fishing three mill pools on the same stream, on the same day, I have found, that to be successful, I had to change my fly and color of it at each pool; and fishing in the same place a few days after, the only fly trout would rise to, was a small grey one, and to such a one they would rise freely in all the pools…”
Fishing on our Lower Mainland lakes is good. Try: Bloodworm, Chironomid, Wooly Bugger, Leach, Dragon Nymph, Halfback, or Baggy Shrimp.
The Fraser River is good for cutthroat and dolly varden. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Flesh Fly, Anderson Stone, Eggo, Chez Nymph, Big Black, Black Stonefly Nymph, or Micro Leach. For Dolly Varden try: large, size 4 to 1, Eggo, Zonker, Dolly Whacker, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, or Lefty’s Deceiver.
The Vedder River is good for steelhead. Try GP, Squamish Poacher, Polar Shrimp, Popsicle, Big Black, Flat Black, Eggo, or Black Stonefly Nymph.
The Harrison River is good for rainbow, and cutthroat. For rainbow try: Rolled Muddler, Zulu, Eggo, Chez Nymph, Big Black, Black Stone Nymph or Micro Leach.