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Thread: CAPT. GD HAMILTON - Just Old Flies - April 19, 2010

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    Default CAPT. GD HAMILTON - Just Old Flies - April 19, 2010

    CAPT. GD HAMILTON

    Capt. GD Hamilton was one of the early British settlers who, in the late 1800s, stocked New Zealand Rivers with brown and rainbow trout. Capt. Hamilton originally hailed from the north of England, and wrote the first book on angling in New Zealand, of which I have a facsimile copy of his 1904 edition. It is entitled ?Trout fishing and sport in Maoriland?. He felt, as do many still today, that fly selection was something that was made to be far more complicated than it is.

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    Captain Hamilton hailing from north of England (Scotland) is probably the reason that 3 of the 5 flies shown in the display are obviously "Clyde Style" soft hackle wet flies. Clyde Style (from the river Clyde) has a unique wing shape that is unmistakable. With all the adaptations through the years, with new fly categories (dry, nymph, emerger…) these soft hackle wet flies are still very effective at catching fish. ~Parnelli
    Last edited by Steven McGarthwaite; 04-19-2010 at 11:12 AM.

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    Jeff,

    Excellent bit of history there, Mate. I love knowing the history of flies and fisheries. Thanks for sharing that. Those wee flees you dressed look like they will do the business in any waters.

    Is the reprint of that fine book readily available. Sounds like one for the book shelf.

    REE
    Happiness is wading boots that never have a chance to dry out.

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    Hi Jeff, very nice flies. I enjoyed seeing them in colour as i have only ever seen B&W reproductions.
    All the best.
    Mike

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    Wonderful article! I really enjoyed it.

    Zac

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    ?Trout fishing and sport in Maoriland?, written by Capt. G.D. Hamilton was reprinted in 1994 and is available for about $30.

    "Clydey Style Flies and their dressings, written by John Reid, had a limited printing of a 1000 books in 1971, and had a reprinting a couple years ago. The 1st edtions are going for over a $176, but the 2nd is the same book (including cover that cost a lot less). ~Parnelli

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    I was able to find a hard cover reprint of Hamilton's book in Oregon for $14 with color plates, plus one I wanted for the new son-in-law so ordered there.

    I also found a couple places on the interweb that have have in ready for download should you not want a hard copy for the bookshelf.

    http://www.archive.org/details/trout...spor00hamiiala

    Steven, as a long time fisher of Clyde style patterns I have had Reid's book for some years. As you said, they are as effective now as they ever were.

    REE
    Happiness is wading boots that never have a chance to dry out.

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    Thanks guys.

    I wasn't sure if it was still available. I had picked up a copy from a used book store, and hadn't realised it was reprinted recently. I was going to search for an archived version on line, but I see that's been posted already (thanks REE).

    Hamilton also indicates that the tails "improve the patterns", so that's tiers choice. I think I used a bit of a dark wing on the March Brown Varient, but again, Hamilton would roll his eyes at me for thinking such things. He suggests that since the fish see the fly from below, subtle differences in the shades of colour are not noticable by the fish, and furthermore, the naturals often have a wide range of shades.

    He placed far more emphasis on reading the water and weather conditions, and knowing where the fish might be holding, then he did on the choice of fly. He also didn't think much of dry fly fishing, I think his quote was along the line of "It's principle drawback is that the fly spends the majority of its time out of the water." (or words to that effect). He does, however, suggest a "recent book by Halford on the subject", but this is not to suggest he agrees with the great many flies that are listed! A man of very definate opinion was our good Captain!

    Anyway, it's a good read. I've had a look through the latter half at the streams that I've fished to get a feel for his descriptions and many seem to be fairly well described. Things like "wadable in places, landing deep, sometimes good" occurs a lot. (landing deep means you have to be in the water with a net, good means you could get the fish into some shallows for landing purposes, that sort of thing).

    - Jeff


    I've had a closer look at the photograph, and the hooks in the book are down-eyed rather than straight eyed, but the size and shape of the bend matches a 3366 size 8.
    Am fear a chailleas a chanain caillidh e a shaoghal. -

    He who loses his language loses his world.

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    My reprint copy of Capt. Hamilton's book arrived yesterday and I must say I'm quite surprised by the book I got for so little money. It is an excellently bound hardcover book (not leather bound but nice anyway) with what appears to be burnished gold leaf edging on the pages. The quality of the reprint is excellent. The color plates have that old timey hand colored appearance and the black and white plates look wonderful. What a nice surprise.

    I got the book from http://www.chartingnature.com/books.cfm?book=B3708 for $14.09. What a deal.

    REE

    PS. Jeff, after reading the forward to the book, it stated that Hamilton's book was not the very first book on NZ trouting. That was W.H. Spackman's Trout in New Zealand, where to go and how to catch them published in Wellington in 1892.
    Happiness is wading boots that never have a chance to dry out.

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    Hi REE,

    Ahhh, learn something everyday ; forget two usually, but at least I learn one! Thanks for that! I've not heard of Spackman's book. Must start having a look for it.

    - Jeff

    P.S. Available at archive.org in fact, http://ia351417.us.archive.org/3/ite...ala00spacgoog/
    Last edited by JeffHamm; 04-24-2010 at 07:45 AM.
    Am fear a chailleas a chanain caillidh e a shaoghal. -

    He who loses his language loses his world.

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