"Canon William Greenwell, of Durham, England, is responsible
for this fly, suggestive of a Dark Winged Olive or a glorified Blue
Dun. It has been said that "when the natural blue dun is on the
water the trout will usually take a Greenwell's Glory."
Mr. R. L. Marston, editor of the Fishing Gazette,
of London, England, has a letter directed to his father, R.B. Marson,
from the Canon, giving the original dressing. I quote that letter:
Dear Mr. Martson: - I gather from your letter that you want the correct
dressing of the Greenwell (salmon fly) and Greenwell's Glory (trout
fly.) The Glory: the wings, inside of a blackbird wing; body, red
and black hackle; tied with yellow silk. I do not remember the
dressing of the Greenwell salmon fly, nor have I a specimen by me.
You can get the proper dressing from Mr. Wright, fly-dresser, Sprouston,
"An empty creel was responsible for Greenwell's Glory. The Conon, coming
in fishless one day, brought with him a dun on which the trout had been feeding
heavily. James Wright, of Sprouston . . .immediately tied an imitation, which
was so successful for the Canon the next day that a celebration was arranged
in Wright's shop. There were present the famous Kerss brothers - James and
Charles; Brown, the angling schoolmaster of the village, and members of the
Wright family. Mr. Wright suggested the name of Greenwell's Glory and it
was so christened in Kelso whiskey.
"It may interest you to know that at the age of ninety-two and a half I have
killed 100 trout weighing 117 3/4 lb.
As far as can be ascertained, this happened in 1854, Canon Greenwell, born in
1821, died in 1918."
The Greenwell's Glory is the favorite fly of Elizabeth Greig, renowned fly tier
and capable angler of New York, commented:
"My hobby is fishing and my favorite fly is the Greenwell's Glory, both
wet and dry. I have done quite a bit of talking about the Greenwell, as it is not
used very much here. It should be tied the original way - primrose or olive
waxed silk body, gold wire rib, coch-y-bondhu hackle, water hen or coot
wing. I have found the Greenwell the best all around fly."
A Courtney Williams, in his Trout Flies, says
that "The Cannon's own dressing of his fly is as follows: blackbird
wing, coch-y-bondhu hackle tied with yellow silk. In a letter to a
correspondent, he said, "Gold thread can be added if wished".
"E.M. Tod, author of Wet Fly Fishing Treated Methodically
gives this picturesque version of the tying:
"Coat: inside of a starling or woodcock's wing. Waistcoat: yellow tying
silk waxed to give it a yellow and slightly dingy hue, ribbed with fine
gold wires. Trousers, (legs): coch-y-bondu hackle with tips yellow
or pale golden and the part near the "pen" of the feather quite black."
Quoted section from Fly Patterns and Their
Origins, published by Westshore Publications,
Color photo from Forgotten Flies.
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