First recorded account of fly fishing? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: First recorded account of fly fishing?

01-14-2001, 08:17 AM
We tend to think of flyfishing as something that originated by great-grandfathers in the British Isles. I've recently come across some writings that acknowledge the use of hand-tied flies to trick fish that significantly predates that.

What was the first recorded incidence of fly fishing?

01-14-2001, 08:42 AM
Me think Egyptians?

They were the first to invent string and the "Yo-yo."

Besides King Tut had a F.F.Forum fishing hat with flies in. Believe he was also wearing Orvis clothing.

01-14-2001, 10:44 AM
..."anglerfish"...the original flyfisher.

01-14-2001, 01:44 PM
Wasn't it Dame Julian? (SP?)

01-14-2001, 05:34 PM
Dame Juliana Berners, 15th century Benedictine nun, did write one of the first essays on fly fishing ("A Treatyse of Fysshynge Wyth an Angle" published in 1496.) I don't know if she was the very first flyfisher, but was possibly the first "recorded" one...

01-14-2001, 10:14 PM
Hey I actually may know this one: The ancient GREEKS!
(and now it us GEEKS


01-15-2001, 10:31 AM
Terry got it...

Although it's believed that flyes were crafted in ancient Europe and Asia earlier than this, the first recorded incidences I could find were the Macedonians and Greeks. The poet Theocritus wrote "bait fallacious suspended from the rod" in the third century BC.

Around 200 AD Roman Emperor Diocletian retired to flyfish his private trout streams. Aelian (an Italian born Greek) wrote about the early Macedonian methods as reflected in <!--http--><a href="" target="_blank">this website</a><!--url-->.

Circa 330 AD a painting in the Cathedral of Constantine (in the times of Diocletian's successor) depicts coils of line laying between the reel and the guides of a fishing rod.

4 years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue, Dame Juliana Berners did her "Treatyse".

There's an amazing amount of history behing fly fishing!

One of my faves (although not fly fishing, fly-ish). The Makah Indian tribe on the northwesternmost corner of the lower 48 used to fashion very long three pronged spears and place a cork ball adorned with feathers so that it would 'swim' on descent. They would then walk to the edge of the rocky coastline and lower the point into the depths, pulling sharply to dislodge the ball. They would pull the spear up quickly and as the cork ball cam to the surface, they would impale lingcod that followed the ball to the top.

Is it spring yet?