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Angling with a Fly: The Dame Juliana Berners Effect

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On: Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 11:07AM | By: Captain Ron Kowalyk

I wonder what weight fly rod Dame Juliana would have preferred, probably a 10-12 foot five wt suitable for dappling the clear waters of local limestone streams in England or France when one wasn't at work. 1460 was a long time ago but Dame Julianna found time and a purpose to angling with a fly. It seems that even way back when, fly anglers were just as “Uber snootten Gruppen” as nowadays. Pardon me, I'm sorta one too, but I've got clients that are madly committed to the “Angling with a Fly”. It’s doesn't always work out well. We peasants occasionally opt for a wax worm or wiggler, with a strike indicator on your fly line, don't tell a purist that!

Dame Julianna wrote the first treatise on “Angling with the Fly”, funny as it seems the main purpose for the book was to get highborn kids off their butts and help keep them in shape for combat. To that, let me add, a couple of the best fly fisherman I ever met, one was, is! a Marine—they’re always and forever Marines; the other was the Commander of a Rifle Army Company in Nam. I guess you could say fly fishing help prepare them for life, i.e., combat.

Anyway, Dame Juliana woulda been very comfortable with a Yew Ashi.e.Lambs wood or bamboo stick, a few yards of braided horse hair and a rooster hackle fly. Natives I've observed use the Dame Julianna rig with water buffalo tail hair line and the good old rooster hackles. I wonder if they read thetreatise“ Angling with a Fly”?


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