Today’s fly fishers looking for grasshopper patterns are spoiled for choice—from traditional flies tied with feathers, fur and silk, to deer hair floaters, to flies tied with foam bodies and rubber legs. It was not always so. In the early years of fly fishing for trout in Australia’s high country, anglers thought the grasshopper impossible to imitate. As one wrote at the time, the very few patterns that came to light were ‘invariably useless.’ Even the best fly fishers resorted to the indignity of casting the natural grasshopper to the voracious trout during the months of summer.
The coming of the Bredbo, tied with yellow floss silk, golden pheasant tippet and partridge hackle, tipped the scales in favour of the fly fisher.
The Sydney architect, author, angler and artist, Howard Joseland, is the authority usually referenced in discussions of this fly. Joseland wrote briefly of the Bredbo in Angling in Australia and Elsewhere (1921), published some two decades after the fly first appeared. Other writers added to the story, if not always accurately. Over time, the Bredbo’s origins have become somewhat confused.
So, what is the real story? Jim Findlay and Mick Hall turned to the newspapers of the time, with their often surprisingly detailed, first-hand accounts. The Bredbo: First trout fly of the Monaro is the result. It tells the story of this iconic fly against a background of the relevant history of Australian fly fishing and fly tying—from the early fly fishers of the Hunter River, to the first Australian fly tyers, to the beginnings of trout fishing on the Monaro, to the anglers and fly tyers that played a role in the Bredbo’s development, and to how the Bredbo transitioned from early trials to commercial success.
Pages: 146 pages – Full colour
Cover: Harcover – French fold
Size: 230mm x 175mm