A few days ago I received a text message from a kindred spirit and bamboo rod craftsman Stephen Boshoff. It simply said – ‘Here’s proof my family always liked dry flies. It’s an extract from a poem (The Angler’s Joy, 1854) by my great grandfather, William White of Applegarth, Dumfries, who later became a reverend in Calcutta.’
At gentle distance seen
To drop a fly with skillful hand
By stones with moss grown gray,
Where deep beneath, the eager trout awaits
His floating prey.
I was sitting at my fly tying desk when the text came through. I found it, evocative, reminiscent, suggestive, powerful and inspirational. So I tied a couple of variations of a new small dry fly for the coming river season in quiet celebration of this touching poem that in so few words captures the very essence of the dry fly fisherman.
“Experience does not make us wise, it is reflection on experience that does.”