Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection

A brief history of the Harry Hawthorn Foundation for the inculcation and propagation of the principles… Read, Stanley E. 1970

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 A Brief History
OF  THE   HARRY  HAWTHORN   FOUNDATION
FOR  THE INCULCATION  AND  PROPAGATION   OF  THE
PRINCIPLES AND  ETHICS OF   FLY-FISHING
BY STANLEY E. READ
From The Whole Art of Fishing, 1714  A Brief History
OF THE  HARRY  HAWTHORN   FOUNDATION
FOR THE INCULCATION  AND  PROPAGATION  OF  THE
PRINCIPLES  AND  ETHICS  OF  FLY-FISHING
BY STANLEY E. READ
T
Xhe b
LHE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BOOKS
on angling and game fish that constitutes the major portion of
this slight publication is closely associated, for better or for worse,
with the Harry Hawthorn Foundation of the Inculcation and
Propagation of the Principles and Ethics of Fly-Fishing. The
Foundation's tide is admittedly somewhat pompous, but the story
of the Foundation's beginnings and subsequent growth is devoid
of high seriousness. Rather it is light-hearted, jovial, and perhaps,
especially to some non-Waltonians, even slightly frivolous. But to
those who love angling, who enjoy the great wilderness beauty
that lies beyond the borders of cities, and who find relaxation
and peace in the company of fellow-anglers, the account that
follows may be of some interest. It will, at least, explain how the
bibliography came into being. Chronologically unsound, this history (somewhat in the fashion of Sterne's Tristram Shandy)
begins with birth, goes back to conception, and moves finally to
growth and development.
Birth
The date: 4 June 1953. The Librarian of the University of
British Columbia, Neal Harlow, glanced through the completed
letter, appended his bold and rambling signature, and, having
carefully sealed it in the already addressed envelope, dropped it
21 in his "Out" basket. His immediate part in the birth of the
Foundation was over.
On 5 June, the President of the University of British Columbia, Dr. Norman Archibald MacRae MacKenzie, better known
as Larry to staff and students alike, smiled as he read the letter
from his Librarian. In it was wit and learning unhampered by
pedantry, and it called back pleasant memories from the immediate past. It also demanded action in the immediate future.
For the historical record, here is the letter in toto, free from
excision or editorial emendation:
Dear President MacKenzie:
I am very much pleased to report to you the establishment of a
trust fund, for Library purposes, under the style and title of the
"Harry Hawthorn Foundation for the Inculcation and Propagation
of the Principles and Ethics of Fly-Fishing." Its initial material
assets are $13, which, with whatever cumulations may subsequently
accrue, are to be spent on books relating to the history of the ancient
and agreeable sport of fly-fishing and thus promote, as Isaac Walton
put it, "a recreation of a recreation."
It should be here recorded that Dr. Harry B. Hawthorn is the
Honourable Founder (and principal objective) of the Fund. His
associates are Dr. Norman A. M. MacKenzie, Professor Stanley £.
Read, Professor Geoffrey C. Andrew, Dr. D. G. B. Duff, Professor
Robert F. Osborne, and the undersigned, designated Trustee of the
Fund. Dr. Roderick Langmere Haig Haig-Brown, as bibliographic,
legal, and technical adviser, stands by as official counsellor within
the several areas of his jurisdiction.
It is recommended, therefore, that the Harry Hawthorn Foundation be accorded the superior approval and recognition of the Board
of Governors and that acknowledgement be duly forwarded to the
Honourable Founder. "Angling," according to Mr. Walton, "may
be said to be so like the mathematics that it can never be fully
learnt; at least not so fully but that there will still be more new
experiments left for the trial of other men that succeed us" — upon
this academic rock the Foundation stands.
Yours sincerely,
Neal Harlow, University Librarian
22 At the next meeting of the Board of Governors, on 19 June,
the Foundation was accorded "the superior approval and recognition" that had been requested. Good authority has it that the
meeting was a merry one, but the entry in the book of minutes is
dry and factual:
A letter dated June 4th was received from Mr. Neal Harlow,
Librarian, reporting for information the establishment of a trust
fund, for Library purposes, to be known as the "Harry Hawthorn
Foundation for the Inculcation and Propagation of the Principles
and Ethics of Fly-Fishing."
Dry, perhaps, but the entry makes it clear that the birth of the
Foundation had been officially recognized. The record is clear
and indisputable.
Conception
But what of the process of conception? The history here is that
of a murky past. Even dates are uncertain. But it is certainly true
that by the late forties^ we — a small number of academic colleagues — would take off after the university year had creaked to
a tired close for the quiet waters of Upper Campbell Lake, on
Vancouver Island, not far beyond and to the west of the town
of Campbell River, home of the noted magistrate, conservationist,
writer, and angler, Roderick Haig-Brown. After we had invaded
Rod's house and had been given some fortification to sustain us
over the narrow, rough, and winding road ahead, we would
make our slow way to the lake. Though rough-edged by timbering and by forest fires, it was still a lovely piece of water, with
inlets and bays, and with the great snow-capped mountains to
the west, down the Elk River Valley, bringing constant pleasure
to the roving eye. Leaving our cars at the eastern tip of the lake,
we would make our way by boat to Strathcona Lodge, to be
greeted by the Whittakers, as nice a pair as one could wish to
meet this side of Heaven. The Lodge was perfect — a vast log-
*3 built affair with a lovely lounge and dining area, comfortable
rooms, and sleep-conducing beds. Mrs. Whittaker's food was
superb (she was a home economist and had learned her profession well), and her husband's service was beyond reproach. It
was a pleasant, warm and friendly place. The evenings were
passed in good conversation; and during the long days we fished.
And the fishing, though often hard, was good, with strong trout,
mostly cut-throat, taking the fly well and fighting with tenacious
vigour. They were not always big ones. But then you never could
tell. The element of surprise was there. Will it be a two pounder?
Or will it perhaps go even a little more? And so we passed our
days — in fun, in friendship, and in good fishing. On one or two
occasions, some fair wives came along, but generally the group
was male, and, as I have said above, all academics, all tired, all
relaxing, all enjoying "the contemplative man's recreation," —
angling in the true Waltonian spirit.
Such were the formless beginnings. No recognizable shape is
visible until the latter part of May in the year of our Lord, one
thousand nine hundred and fifty-three. Again the academic term
had ground to its weary close. Again a small group of piscators,
under the general direction of Larry MacKenzie, the Decanus,
the Doyen, the good Master, boarded the C.P.R. ferry to
Nanaimo. Again, we invaded the home of the ever-understanding
and ever hospitable Haig-Browns to receive fortification. And
again we were welcomed by the Whittakers at Strathcona Lodge,
which smelt of pine, and fresh spring flowers, and the sweet
savoury odours of preparing food. City clothes were discarded;
rods assembled; lines prepared; flies examined and selected. We
were ready, and the evening was perfect — softly warm with little
wind, and with the sun starting to edge towards the glowing
mountain rims to the west
But whom do I mean by "we"? The record is uncertain, but
collective memories indicate the following:
Larry MacKenzie, brilliant President of the University, who,
*4 shortly after his retirement in 1962, served in the Canadian
Senate, until January 1969; a Nova Scotian of Scottish ancestry,
a veteran of the First World War, and an ardent lover of the
angle from his youth onwards.
Geoffrey C. Andrew, in 1953 a professor of English, the executive assistant to the President, and later the executive director of
the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; also a
Nova Scotian, a graduate of Dalhousie and Oxford; a vigorous,
dedicated angler; a fine fishing companion.
Cecil Duff, a professor of bacteriology and a man of rich
scholarship, who has now retired; a quiet fisherman who loves
the world around him.
Myron Weaver, then Dean — the first Dean — of the Faculty
of Medicine; a great lover of the outdoors; a fine conversationalist; a rich contributor to the world of medical education, who
is — and I write this with sorrow — no longer of this world.
Hal Taylor, professor of pathology, a wit and a lover of life, a
native of Newfoundland and a singer of songs, a genuine lover of
fishing, and an extraordinarily good companion.
Neal Harlow, an American who drifted north from California
to become one of the great librarians of the University; a sharp
and witty and a brilliantly intellectual fellow; more a lover of
nature and the birds that inhabit the air than a dedicated follower of the sport of angling; a fine friend and a great contributor
to the Foundation.
Harry Hawthorn, Head of the Department of Anthropology
and Sociology (he has since given up administration to devote
himself to research and teaching); a native of New Zealand
where, at a most tender age he became a follower of Walton; a
richly experienced fisherman, who casts long and fine and collects
rich rewards; a stalwart friend, who has contributed much to the
Foundation that bears his name (for alleged reasons yet to be
stated).
And finally myself, an undistinguished professor of English,
25 who learned to angle for perch, pickerel, and bass from my father
and the kindly old General Butterfield — a veteran of the American Civil War; this angling done, I fear, with worms, and frogs,
and grasshoppers in the lovely waters of Lake Memphramagog
that stretches its long shores from Vermont into the Eastern
Townships of Quebec.
So we were eight that evening, though Roderick Haig-Brown
joined us later. And what need I say of him to anyone interested
enough to scan this account? Magistrate at Campbell River for
many years, he is known wherever the literature of fishing is
known for his superb books (The Western Angler, Return to the
River, A River Never Sleeps to name but three — for the rest
see the bibliography); an active conservationist; a magnificent
handler of the rod; and a man of infinite charm and profound
wisdom.
But now to the conception itself — that special series of events
that led to the birth of the Foundation. Though their beginnings
have a degree of clarity about them, the conclusions are obscure,
contradictory, and debatable. I have four accounts before me as
I write — all difTering in degree and in detail: the MacKenzie
version, the Haig-Brown version, the Harlow version, and the
Andrew version — the last the most complete, but not necessarily
the most reliable.
If memory does not play me false, it actually all started with
Andrew. Geoff is a gambler at heart — this in spite of his ecclesiastical background. He is willing — even eager — to wager a
nickel here and a dime there, without any hesitation, any sign of
trepidation. This evening he was at the peak of recklessness: he
called for the making of three pools at a quarter a piece — one
pool for the first fish caught, one pool for the largest fish caught,
one pool for the most fish caught. So off we went — all contributors, all gay, all friendly. I, for some unknown reason (perhaps just a lack of the gregarious instinct) fished alone. I soon
struck — and kept — a good cut-throat, and announced my catch
26 in stentorian tones that re-echoed through the surrounding hills.
Did others hear? To this day I do not know. So on I fished,
catching a brace more, and returned to the Lodge in the gloom
of the descending night. As I entered the lounge, I found the
others already assembled. It was quite evident that confusion had
already taken over. That confusion, and the incidents that followed, are best expressed in the Andrew version — a version
marked by clarity, a fair degree of objectivity, and relative
honesty. Let it speak for itself.
We fished — and when at long last we succeeded in luring Read
in off the lake, we were all agreed that Read at least would not win
the pool for the most fish, as he had obviously fished after hours. It
may have been this factor that heightened the whole argumentative
spirit In any case we found it impossible to agree on the winner of
any single pool.
Read and I both claimed the first fish. I had witnesses to record
the time the fish was boated. Read was around a point in a bay, had
no witnesses, asked when I had boated, and then claimed a minute
earlier. It was generally agreed that as none of us had synchronized
our watches there could be no award anyway. The pool money was
voted into escrow for later decision and disbursement
Hawthorn and Read both claimed the biggest fish. Hawthorn had
in fact the longest fish; a dark, dirty, eel-like spawner which anyone
with a vestige of sporting instinct (or a sense of shame even) would
have thrown away — let alone bring forward for a prize. Read's
was a bright, thick fish — a full half pound heavier than Hawthorn's
but an eighth of an inch shorter. Obviously here again no one could
be allowed to win, and the pool monies were set aside, to be thought
about before disbursement
Read and Hawthorn again contended for the most fish, and
despite Read's outrageous extension of the fishing hours, Hawthorn
would have won easily, had not some ingenious member of the party
recalled that no one had defined the time limits within which the
fish must be caught Surely, he argued, the pool was reserved for the
person who caught the most fish during the whole period of our
stay, and not just on the first occasion out
All this disputation brought out in the whole party the lawyer
that lurks in a man just below the surface of civilization. Legal
*7
J wrangles crept into the poker game, into the selection of boats, the
allotment of fishing partners. It was a pretty determined lot of sea
lawyers who, for the rest of our stay, studied how to do the dirty on
all their friends.
The second day's events introduced a new element into the dispute. Hawthorn, accompanied by Harlow and Read, had spent the
day at Unknown Lake and returned with nineteen good trout.
-Harlow claimed to have caught one and Read four, which left
Hawthorn the happy (but illegal) possessor of fourteen fish. Up to
this time the possibility of exceeding the legal catch hadn't even
been raised in argument — but now the possibility existed that
Hawthorn might win the pool by breaking the law. Disputation
bubbled over.
It was decided that on the last night of the trip we should hold
court, with Larry MacKenzie and Rod Haig-Brown as joint judges
(or a bench of magistrates), and that everyone would be free to
bring any charges he liked against any other member of the party,
reflecting on any aspect of his behaviour, as a fisherman, as a poker
player, as a scholar and gentleman, or in any other respect, and that
the court would assign the pool money, now held in escrow, as it
saw fit.
On the last evening court convened. The expected protests against
the jurisdiction of the court, the competence, ability and reliability
of the judges having been disregarded, Read, Hawthorn, Harlow,
Weaver, Duff, Andrew et al. were allowed a so-called opportunity
of pleading their so-called cases. Evidence was given and taken,
heard, derided, denied and disregarded. Charge and counter-charge
went, heard or unheard, unconsidered. Eventually the judges, having
deliberated, pronounced that all pooled funds, which happened to
be in their possession anyway, were confiscated and would be used
to establish a foundation at the University of British Columbia to be
called "The Harry Hawthorn Foundation for the Inculcation and
Propagation of the Principles and Ethics of Fly-Fishing." This
imaginative idea, so unexpected from such a bench, so staggered
those whose wealth was underwriting the idea, that there followed
some — perhaps ten seconds of silence — when we all gaped dazedly
at the moral grandeur of the concept.
It was at this point that someone recalled that the cash in hand
— some $3.50 — hardly seemed adequate to establish a foundation.
The judges thereupon reconvened the court; summarily fined all
28 who had won at poker... [and] eventually, after some bargaining,
the judges themselves were persuaded to contribute a token payment
on behalf of a tithe of the serious crimes alleged against them.
Neal Harlow was appointed trustee for the immediate sum of
$52. ? [Note : Andrew questions his own figure. See Harlow's letter
to the President.] and all subsequent monies, accruing to the Foundation; which sums were to be used to buy books on fly fishing for
the University library.
In this way did the Harry Hawthorn Foundation come into being.
So much for the Andrew version. The Haig-Brown version,
given in a speech that Rod delivered to the Flyfisher's Club of
Oregon on 6 June '61 (it was later printed in The Creel, vol. 1,
no. 1, December '61) centred on the incident at Unknown Lake.
Coming from the pen of a great writer, the style is impeccable,
but the details do not always dovetail with the Andrew account.
It is a good sample of the confusion that led to conception. It is
also a view of a joint-judge, not that of a pleading defendant:
A number of us, including the president of the university and his
assistant, and others of the University of British Columbia, are in
the habit of meeting for a fishing trip right after graduation. And
we usually have a little pot on the first fish, the largest fish, and so
forth. We also play a little poker in the evening. Stakes are not high,
but one year one member seemed to be on the winning edge of
things — excessively so, I may say. As it happened, I told him and
another very reputable professor about a little lake where there
were a lot of good-sized fish that you could catch very readily. These
two went out the next day to this little lake, and the second of the
professors (the one who had all the winnings) became very excited.
He stripped to his shorts, got on a log and paddled out into the
middle of the lake. He started murdering fish right and left. His
friend on the bank kept fairly quiet, taking a fish now and then.
When they came back to the lodge where we were staying somebody
met Stan (who was the quiet man on the bank) as soon as he came
in and said, "Stan, how many fish did you get?" Stan said, "Eight."
Well, our limit up there is twelve, and when the fish were counted
there were twenty-one. It was quite clear that the law had been
broken, and it was also quite clear who had broken the law. So we
*9 held court that evening, and decided that all winnings of this
character who had taken thirteen fish instead of twelve should be
placed in escrow until we decided that the winnings would be given
to the university library to start a fishing section called, after this
gentleman, The Harry Hawthorn Foundation, "for the promotion
and inculcation of the ethics of fly fishing." This club meets every
year, and the poker winnings, no matter who wins them, are still
forfeit. So are any other ill-gotten gains that anyone may have, in
addition to which, of course, it isn't too hard to penalize members
from time to time for various infractions on the ethics of fly fishing.
We are building up a nice little library in the University of British
Columbia on the subject of fly fishing. That is one way a club can
develop and serve.
The other two versions are brief and to the point, neither
written with a Gibbon-eye for historical detail. The Harlow
version, attached to a short-title list of the first forty books purchased by the Foundation, was circulated in June '59 — six years
after the event. It was called "History Enough of the Harry
Hawthorn Foundation... Trial edition, by an Eye-witness." It
was an impressionistic account — vivid and unreliable, as clearly
seen in the following pertinent sections:
The Setting: This lovely lake looked out upon a lot of half-
burned trees and a luxurious lodge all festooned with flimsy fish-
poles.
The Rising: A little later the selfsame lodge, well laden with rye
and Scotchmen, surveyed an evening lake alive with lumpen fishermen. Who caught the first fish? "I," said Generous Geoffrey. "No,
I," cried Studious Stanley, and there was no truth in any of them.
And who landed the longest fish? "Not Rod," said Duff quite
devilishly; "with my rod," he said instead. Pray who got the largest
number? "None other," exclaimed Honest Harry, who had a handful of helpers. And they played poker until the rum ran out.
Quick Solution to a Nasty Problem: After night after night came
the great reckoning—gaming gamblers, larcenous lawyers, lying
laymen, bickering fishermen, malevolent magistrates all in a row or
row. First, largest and most numerous? Let the Court speak up, and
he did. "On this Foundation do I set my seal, and the gates of hell
30 shall hardly hold a candle to it." And he said let there be books on
fly-fishing. And here they are.
Of the MacKenzie version what need be said? It is Hunt and
to the point, lacking those fine alliterative flourishes found in the
Harlow passage. Having described the earlier, unregulated
gatherings of the late forties and the early fifties, he turns to the
historic moment:
It was on one of these later occasions at Stratchona Lodge, Upper
Campbell Lake, that the Foundation came into being, due to arguments about gains and losses in poker games and side bets as to the
first fish, the most fish, the longest fish and the heaviest fish. All these
disputes were settled by my declaration that the total of the monies
involved should be held in escrow to become the basis of a Foundation named after Harry Hawthorn, who it was alleged exceeded his
limit in fish caught by resort to questionable practices. Application
was made to the Board of Governors of the University of British
Columbia to formally recognize the Harry Hawthorn Foundation
and to arrange for the receipt of the monies in question and such
further sums as should be contributed. This was approved.
It is perhaps fortunate that no Hawthorn version of the conception exists. It might well have compounded the already too
evident confusion. For Harry has read the accounts of his colleagues and has said, with a smile, that he finds little or no truth
in any one of them. Yet he has accepted with good grace the
dubious honour of being the father of the Foundation, and, as I
have already said, has contributed richly to it.
From such tangled webs are the strands of history spun. Doubts
still exist as to details, but at least it is clear that the Foundation
was conceived in turmoil, properly born, and officially recognized.
The Later Life and the Ladner Era
First, it must be recorded that Progress came to Upper Campbell Lake. Its waters were backed up so that they were joined to
the waters of beautiful Buttle Lake to make a vast inland sea.
3' The shoreline, with its little bays and inlets that we knew, disappeared, and deadheads and underwater stumps cluttered
together around the new edges. Roads were hard-topped; miners
and truckers came into the park area. And the Lodge and the
Whittakers disappeared. (It is true that the Lodge reappeared
some years later some miles away on a much less attractive site;
but that is another story.) So the annual congregation of the
Foundation had to, perforce, assemble elsewhere. One year the
members gathered at Pillar Lake — a lovely and fishable spot
to the north and west of Vernon; and one year they met at Lac
Le Jeune, that historic lake near Kamloops where the trout are
often large but often very hard to find. It was at Le Jeune that
Lee Straight, noted fish and game columnist of the Vancouver
Sun, dropped in on the annual meeting of the Court. In his
column for 26 May '56 he gave the Foundation its first publicity:
Sat in on a most interesting meeting of the "Harry Hawthorn
Foundation" at Le Jeune Monday night. This is a group, mostly
of University of B.C. professors, who meet once or twice a year for
a congenial fish-fest and to fine one another scandalously to finance
the foundation.
Harry Hawthorn is a former New Zealander and now professor
of anthropology at U.B.C. He wasn't able to attend this meeting I
attended, so was heavily fined for his absence. So were Rod Haig-
Brown, Campbell River magistrate and author, and Dr. Ian Cowan,
zoology department head at U.B.C., also unable to be there this
time.
Those in attendance were U.B.C. president Dr. Norman MacKenzie, his deputy Dean Geoffrey Andrew; English professor Stanley
Read (organizer), bacteriology professor Cecil Duff, pathology professor Harold Taylor, librarian Neil Harlow (trustee), Tom Hughes,
superintendent of buildings and grounds at U.B.C., and Colonel
John McLean, OC of the Canadian Officers Training Corps.
Worthy purpose of the foundation is to establish (already done)
and increase, an angling library at U.B.C., paid for by fining one
another for everything from being seen with a wobbler (instead of
flies only) to exaggerating a catch. When they played a spot of
poker, all winnings went into the foundation.
32 As a mere honorary member of the evening, I trembled in the
corner, fully expecting to be fined $5 because I wasn't sure of the
difference between the nymphs of the enallagama and ischnura
damselflies.
How the foundation took Professor Hawthorn's name is a story
for another time, but this fine group of sportsmen have started
something many of us can add to. I escaped with the promise of
some of my books for their library, open to the public, by the way.
Other donations would be gratefully accepted.
And the promise was kept. Lee Straight did add several brace
of very good books to the collection before many days had passed;
and he has maintained his interest in the Foundation, as will be
evident later.
It was in the closing days of 1956 that Dr. Leon Ladner came
into the ranks of the Foundation. The occasion was a reception
at the President's House. The company and the drinks were good
— the atmosphere informal and cordial. Neal Harlow and I fell
into the usual chit-chat conversation with Dr. Ladner (we were
formal with him then), and to our joy discovered that he was an
ardent fisherman — a bit of a tyro, he said, but very, very ardent.
And so, in the flush of the moment, we made him an Honorary
Piscator — a member of the Foundation — and he accepted. We
did not then realize the significance of that moment.
Leon Ladner is one of a rare breed — a man of many years
but of an ever youthful spirit. His father, born in 1836, and his
uncle, born in 1826, left England as very young men. Eventually
they crossed this vast continent by covered waggon, lived for
awhile in California, and then made their way to this particular
corner of the world in the late 1850's. They ran pack trains to
the Cariboo, they opened farm land, they started a cannery, and
they established the settlement of Ladner (not far from where
Vancouver now is but where untouched forests were then). They
also fathered children, Leon among them. No wonder that the
lad loved to hunt, to five in the outdoors, and to dream of the
33 world to come. He quickly established himself as a brilliant barrister; he sat as a Member of Parliament in Ottawa; and for
many years was a Governor of the University of British Columbia. But he still loves the outdoors, he still dreams of an ever
better world, and he enjoys good company to the full. In brief,
he was — and is— a good Waltonian. His interest in the Foundation was genuine and uninhibited; he would be, we knew, a
good member.
So Harlow, ever efficient, sent him within days a certificate of
Honorary Membership, and, again within days, received the
following letter of acceptance — a letter that reveals the writer's
effervescence, his good humour, his un-stuffiness, his youthful
spirit:
Mr. Neal Harlow
Trustee in Piscary
c/o Library
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C.
My dear Trustee:
With characteristic humility becoming a humble member of
piscatory propensities, I hasten to reply to your certificate of
Honorary Membership in the company of honorable piscators, to
wit the Harry Hawthorn Foundation for the Inculcation and Propagation of the Principles and Ethics of Fly-Fishing.
To belong to such a distinguished group, free of law or controls,
bureaucracy, dictatorship and constitutional restrictions is an experience for which I had to wait many years to find, all notwithstanding
the five fishes enclosed herewith and related to the fiat of H. H.
Piscator, fitting.
It is fitting and proper, in view of the piscatorial aura which
brightens the hope of a new member and encourages a boldness
perhaps not in keeping with the timidity of my fellow members,
that I should reveal to you a dark secret, experienced on Lake
Pennask on the very first fly-fishing expedition of your obedient
servant. While attempting to cast a fly at a distance of 150 ft in
front of me, and exceeding the backward stroke beyond the time of
34 2.00, the said fly extended behind me to the extent of 161 ft., on
two occasions, and a fish was caught in the backward position. Such
are the intuitive propensities of a new member, devoted at all times
to the backward stroke for unsuspecting fish.
I deem it useless to extend this concotion of circumlocution, but
will reserve the right at the next meeting of the Harry Hawthorn
Foundation for the Inculcation and Propagation of the Principles
and Ethics of Fly-Fishing to unfold to the meeting certain information on this complicated and hopeful association.
Yours very sincerely,
Leon J. Ladner
The letter was dated 28 January 1957, and on the invitation
of our new and very honorary member the next meeting of the
Foundation, in early June, was held at Pennask Lake, where the
members were housed in the great log lodge of the Pennask Lake
Fish and Game Club. It was the beginning of a new era for the
Foundation, for since 1957 to the present (1969) the annual
congregation has been held in this paradisal spot.
Pennask Lake is in the southern interior of B.C., about thirty
miles due east of Merritt as the crow flies, but far from paved
highways and high speed traffic. If you drive to the lake you
follow a country road (at times rough and treacherous) that
crosses great range country, passes through low forests of jack
pine, alder, and spruce, and winds always upwards. The lake is
high — about five thousand feet above sea level — large, and
lovely. It is rich in islands, small bays and inlets — some bearing
names associated with fishermen of earlier days, some, names
that are descriptive — Mud Bay, Peterson's, Prudhom Bay,
" Slaughter Bay, the Colonel's Kitchen, Burnt Island, Milwaukee
Point, Lone Tree Island, Dole Bay. The birds are there — the
swallow, the woodpecker, the occasional kingfisher, the great
circling osprey, and the loon — active, noisy, entertaining, and
handsome. And there are fish — one species only, as far as I
know, the Kamloops trout (which, if I read Haig-Brown correctly, is a non-migratory rainbow of the interior of B.C.) and
35 Strathcona Lodge, Upper Campbell Lake he may be taken on the fly in almost any part of the lake at
almost any time of day.
But this is not to say that the lake is sure-fire or an easy lake
to fish. It isn't. Success will depend, in part, upon a knowledge of
the reefs and shoals, the bays and the inlets, in part upon the
weather — the temperature and the winds especially, and, in
part, upon the skill with which the angler handles the rod and
fly. Most fishermen fish the lake wet and more fish are undoubtedly taken on the wet fly than on the dry. But when a good
rise is on the dry fly-fishing can be superb, towards late morning,
in the middle of the afternoon, or in the late evening, just when
the sun has dropped behind the mountains. The evening rise can
be especially dramatic, for I have seen the whole lake dimpled
with feeding fish, though even then they may be reluctant to take
what is offered.
But broad and large, it is one of the finest fly lakes in this vast
province, though it must be admitted it has one drawback — it
contains few surprises. The Pennask trout is a fine fish — well
conditioned, deep bodied, vigorous, pugnacious, a fighting, high-
leaping fish. But even though he may run your line and bring
song to your reel, when finally conquered he is seldom — very
seldom — more than fifteen or sixteen inches in length. So if you
want the big one — the three or four or even five pounder — you
must go elsewhere — perhaps even to Little Pennask, some hundred yards through the bush. Big ones are there. But here again
is a problem — they will seldom, very seldom, take the fly.
Yet Pennask has been an ideal place for the annual meeting,
or congregation of the Foundation. The accommodation and the
food have been perfect, and the daily routine relaxing, friendly,
Waltonian. Boats leave the Lodge at nine or rime-thirty; fish get
lively, usually, by ten or eleven; and the great fish fry takes
place, usually at Milwaukee Point, or Burnt Island, at one. Then,
relaxed, the anglers return to the lake for the sport of the afternoon and go back to the Lodge for a drink and dinner at six, or
37 thereabouts. There are some who pass the evening in reading or
at the card table; but those who love to fish dry take rod once
again to play the interesting evening rise — granted that the
water is quiet and the evening good. Then, with the coming of
dusk, the last boats pull into the dock. In the darkness the stars
shine with a brilliance unknown to those who ever dwell in cities.
Quietness descends — broken only by the occasional anguished
cry of a loon in the distance. A good day of angling and warm
fellowship is rounded out "And so to bed."
Over the past twelve years, then, Pennask has been the meeting
place of the annual congregation. Some of the original group still
make the pilgrimage; some have disappeared through the accident of transfer to other parts or through the ultimate event of
death. But new members have been added, to become full disciples. I cannot name them all, but here at least are some who
have contributed or are contributing much to the Foundation:
Good Geoffrey Davies, historian and one time assistant to the
President at U.B.C., who fished at Pennask with rare joy; but he,
alas, was appointed as Dean of Arts at Brock University in St
Catherines where, after a brief term in office, he met swift death
in the spring of 1967.
Tom Hughes, who fished with us at Lac Le Jeune and at
Pennask; a giant Newfoundlander, who casts a long line with
obvious relish. At one time Superintendent of Buildings and
Grounds at U.B.C., he now serves private industry.
Mike Pottinger, son of a great fly-fisherman himself, who,
through his long association with Pennask, knows every shoal,
every inlet in the lake; through his knowledge, willingly shared,
he has added much to the Pennask congregations.
Then the three Deans — Jack McCreary, of Medicine, who,
a southpaw, loves to angle with the slightest of rods, and does so
with effective refinement; George Curtis, of Law, a good companion, and, with legal sharpness, a power in the annual Court;
38 and Wan Leung, of Dentistry, a relative newcomer to the angle
but a lover of the event
Add, too, wise Alex Wood, for many years at U.B.C., now at
the University of Victoria, a scientist who knows the intimate
secrets of all wild life and game and who searches for big fish
with every permissible ethical wile; and Mac Whitelaw, a noble
son of Hippocrates, who holds multiple posts at the University
and elsewhere, and who, a passionate and most knowledgeable
bird-watcher (he declines the title of ornithologist), is an excellent
angler when he is not listening to — in Dame Juliana's words —
"the melodyous armony of fowles."
Came, too, for brief periods, the genial Avery (Pete) Peterson,
at one time American Consul General in Vancouver; two former
university presidents, Jack Macdonald and Malcolm Taylor, who,
under pressure, had little time for quiet contemplation; Ron
Jeffels, formerly of the French Department at U.B.C., but now
a busy administrator at the University of Victoria; and the warm
and friendly Tom Ladner, lawyer, who allows business to interfere with angling, but who maintains a sharp interest in the
doings of the Foundation.
Trevor Harrop, of the Faculty of Dentistry, and Geoff Dur-
rant, of the Department of English, U.B.C., though freshmen in
the Foundation, should also be named. They are both wise
anglers, rich in experience and devoted to the gentle art.
And finally that good friend, John McLean, brave and distinguished soldier, head of the Personnel Department at U.B.C.,
most dedicated fisherman, who, in these latter years, has acted
as Hon. Treasurer of the Foundation, and seen to it that fines
and assessments have been paid and properly channeled into that
trust fund which originally totalled $i 3.00.
Over the years, too, certain good friends have been named as
Honorary Members, because of their interest in fishing or in the
purposes of the Foundation. Leon Ladner has been, of course,
the outstanding member in this category, though he quickly lost
39 Pennask Lake Lodge his honorary status to become a full and active member. Then
there is that good Monseignor, Jacques Garneau, who casts a well
blessed fly with fine and effective touch and who yields the priest
with dedicated skill. But he, alas, abides in Ottawa with the
AUCC, and has fished with us only twice. Also named have been
Major General F. H. N. Davidson, a distinguished soldier and a
very fine angler, but he, though known well to some of us, lives
in London, and when the early summer comes heads north to
Scottish streams, especially his beloved Don and the beautiful
stretch near Kildrummy Castle. The late Dr. Wallace Wilson was
also nominated; partly because of his love for angling, especially
at Lac Le Jeune, and partly because of his great interest in
U.B.C.'s Library, as was Leon Koerner, one of the best friends
that the university has had in recent years. And finally, Tommy
Brayshaw, master angler, brilliant artist, and a great collector of
angling books, who, by his will and after his life's course had been
run, has become the greatest donor of books to the Foundation.
Finally, to close this sketchy history of the Foundation, let me
dwell briefly but with respectful affection, on the annual Court
— the source from which good monies flow from the bank
accounts of diverse but not reluctant individuals into the coffers
of the Foundation.
"... for the Inculcation and Propagation of the Principles and
Ethics of Fly-Fishing'' — such are the purposes of the Foundation, said the Judge, as he brought the first Court to a brilliant
end in the late spring of 1953. Perhaps he little knew that precedent and tradition were being established that night, but the fact
remains — a Court is still held each year at the conclusion of the
Congregation. The Chief Justice, self-appointed, but not basically
objected to, has ever been (or almost ever) he who conceived
the idea of the Foundation — Larry MacKenzie, now the Honourable N. A. M. MacKenzie to those who do not know him
well. With him have sat over the years a number of puisne
judges  (sometimes referred to by the litigants as "puny") —
4i perhaps Rod Haig-Brown, perhaps George Curtis, but more often
than not, Leon J. Ladner, Q.C. So the Court, which usually
assembles after the evening rise on the last night of the yearly
meeting, has had a certain glimmer of respectability and authority
about it. But what is the purpose of the Court? A good question;
but externally at least to pass judgment on the skills of all good
fly-casters present, to examine the faithfulness with which they
have followed the best and most widely approved principles of
angling with the fly, to evaluate their ethical behaviour towards
fish and fellow-man, to measure their sobriety, and to check on
their payments of past fines and assessments.
Typical of all these courts was the one held in i960. Its proceedings were recorded by the Hansard of that year in the
Hawthorniad, a somewhat pompous poem written by an anonymous, illegitimate descendant of Milton. "The Gathering," "The
Fishing," and "The Feasts," have been described; then comes
"The Great Conclave" — the annual Court:
But time cannot be held within man's grasp
And all too soon did come that fateful night
When summoned were we to the Great Conclave
By him, MacKenzie, Priest now changed to Judge
By some strange alchemy of private brew.
High on his throne he sat like fallen Lucifer,
By some called Satan, who 'fore the world began
Did call his sullen host to conclave great
In Pandemonium, Hell's massive hall.
Our Satan's brows were furrowed from deep thought,
But bright his eyes. They glowed with fires gleaming
Infernal, born of those amber spirits rare
From his ancestral shores. Quiet he claimed
And Chaos fled before this Stentor's voice.
"Brave fellows of the rod, my boon companions,
Bring forth your charges now against all those
Who of this sacred company have erred
Or who have sinned against the ethics and the laws
Of this Hawthornian Foundation.
42 Those charges having heard, I will pronounce
Judgment most final. Let none my words withstand."
Thus spake he; then did pause, only to start again
Ere word did come from any minion's mouth.
"But first no action may this Conclave take
Until I have made pronouncement dire
'Gainst those who sit not with their brethern here
But vagrant are amidst the flesh-pots and the stews
In modern Sodoms and Gomorrahs vile."
And so the Court opened, with charges first against Harlow,
"that gaunt and Cassian / Piscator," who had absented himself
to hold "lengthy converse dry / With dry librarians," and who
"seduced by subtle wiles... the noblest fisher of all," Haig-Brown
to go with him; then against Haig-Brown for being "seduced thus
/ By that fair tempting Harlow"; and finally against McCreary,
who, after a day and a half of hectic fishing, had fled from the
Congregation
... To curry favour with
A physio-therapeutic company
To whom he is pledged to bring wise words
And charming smiles.
All three were sximmarily convicted and fined — Harlow and
McCreary each to pay ten dollars current to the fund; and as for
Rod —
To the Foundation must he forthwith give
Fair copies of his latest books (or book)
And further, granted that it can be done,
He must provide for placing in our archives
A copy of that noble picture of himself
That lately did appear in publication
Luce. This done he clamps him to Ourself
Again by golden bars	
Then came the charges, counter-charges, and convictions
against those present: First against Mrs. MacKenzie — Margie
43 (this was an exceptional year with one angler of the distaff side
present), for being of the female sex and also being late for the
Court; against Andrew, for sending to our Judge "a magazine, /
Playboy, so called, of nature most seductive"; against Hughes,
for trying to "navigate his craft / On solid land"; against Curtis,
who had "by angling methods weird and wonderful... endangered lives of fellowmen"; against Hawthorn, who, returning
from a recent trip to Great Britain, openly confessed he had not
fished the Test or cast a fly "into the gende Dove where / Cotton
fished"; against Whitelaw, that "quiet, virtuous, contemplative
man," for gazing too long on birds and consequently failing to
report that the Ladner boat was in distress; against Taylor, for
general, unspecified but boisterous sins; and against Read for not
knowing "when wet was dry or dry / Was wet." As to the Judges
they too were charged and, by unanimous consent, convicted and
fined — the Puisne Judge, good Ladner, for having fished illegally, and by lingering long "on evening waters... had caused
good men to leave their healthful drinks / To rescue him and his
unhappy crew"; and the Chief Justice -r- "Larry — noble Scot
— " for having fled from fishing "to snore away — /In bed —
at least one glorious afternoon," and for having circulated
That Playboy magazine to bring about
The downfall of a Dean, not vice versa
As earlier had been claimed.
And so, after a general assessment had been imposed on all,
the i960 Court was closed; and the Foundation was a little richer.
Other Courts have been similar; all have been held in the spirit
of good companionship and with a light, young, humourous
touch. Most of the charges have been based on planted evidence
or on the workings of active imaginations. Anglers have been
charged with fishing with steel-cored lines; with using heavy
sinkers; with attempting to catch unsuspecting trout in mouse
traps; with possessing — and even using — gang trolls, devices
44 unmentioned by any true Waltonian. And there was the one
classic case brought against Rod Haig-Brown himself, a man
fully knowledgeable in all that pertains to the principles and
ethics of the art of fly-fishing. The record comes from the prosaic
minutes of the Court of 1958, a year in which he acted as a
puisne judge: "Haig-Brown charged by Ladner with the unseemly lassoing of fish by the tail while wearing a white cowboy
hat given him by the Mayor of Calgary." The charge was accurate and the guilt of the accused well established. I know, for I
was fishing with Rod at the time. And he was wearing a magnificent white Stetson which he had just received from the Mayor of
Calgary. As usual, Rod was fishing dry. Suddenly there was a
clear and beautiful rise some sixty feet from the boat. He cast
with fine accuracy and the fly dropped gently in the circle. The
response was quick and Rod struck viciously, to catch the downward sweep of his prey. Success was instantaneous, and the fish
was on, fighting hard but in an unpatterned fashion. Three or
four minutes later he was netted and safely in — and there it was,
for all to see, a perfectly lassoed fish, with the lasso knot around
the tail. Unethical? Well, there is nothing in Cotton, in Halford,
in Skues, or in Gordon to support this as an ethical technique.
The guilt was obvious; the charge and the fine inevitable.
The Collection and the Brayshaw Gift
With the passing of the years, with occasional gifts, and with
a constant, though a somewhat unplanned and erratic, ordering
of books on angling and game fish, the Foundation's collection
gradually took shape and size. Harry Hawthorn, especially, did
much for it by picking up rare and interesting items in his trips
to England and New Zealand. Then, in 1968, came a great gift
that dramatically changed the proportions and the significance
of the collection — the angling library of the late Tommy Brayshaw. Though Tommy had been an Honorary Member of the
45 Foundation, he had never been able to join us for an annual
Congregation, but, a long-time and an intimate friend of Rod
Haig-Brown, he had kept in touch with the activities of the
Foundation, and some years before his death in October 1967,
had made known his wish to leave his fishing books to it. A letter
dated 3 May '68 from the Yorkshire and Canadian Trust Limited
made the terms of the bequest known:
Under the will of the late Mr. Brayshaw, we wish to quote the
following bequest: "Unto the University of British Columbia for
the benefit of the Harry Hawthorn Foundation and its members my
library of fishing books save and except any books by Roderick
Haig-Brown."
It was a valuable bequest — some one hundred and fifty major
works, a large number of pamphlets, offprints, and periodical
articles, and Tommy's own fishing diaries covering the years from
1932 to his last fishing trip in 1965. The gift was acknowledged
in a letter to Mrs. Brayshaw on 9 May:
As the honorary secretary of the Harry Hawthorn Foundation, I
am writing to you to express the profound gratitude of all of the
members of the Foundation for the invaluable gift coming to us
through the kindness, generosity, and foresight of our very good
friend Tommy, a great fisherman, a great artist, and a very great
man.
I cannot here record the details of Tommy Brayshaw's life, but
the following brief facts may be of interest to those who use this
work. Born and brought up in Giggleswick in Yorkshire and
trained in naval architecture, he was severely wounded in the
First Great War. Knowing something of Canada (he had lived
in British Columbia briefly before the war), he turned to the
west again, and for many years taught at the Vernon Preparatory
School, founded by the Rev. A. C. Mackie, theologian, teacher,
and, in the best Waltonian tradition, an ardent angler. In the
Second Great War, Tommy again served, this time with Pacific
Command as a Major Command Recruiting Officer, and shortly
46 after the end of that war retired to an idyllic spot beside the
Fraser River at Hope, B.C. Here he lived until the complications
of age overtook him, forcing him to spend the last years of his
life as an apartment dweller in Vancouver. But wherever he was,
or whatever he did, he was first and foremost a fisherman, devoted, dedicated, idealistic, meticulous.
I do not know when he started to fish, but it is almost reasonable to believe that he grasped a rod in his pudgy fist while still
an infant in the crib. He was certainly angling by the time that
he was ten or twelve, and he was certainly keeping a fishing
diary by the time that he was fourteen, though I suspect much
earlier. He perhaps started to seek out trout from the shores of
the Ribble River that flows by the village of Giggleswick, and he
soon was fishing Malham Tarn — an historic lake (it has been
fished by Charles Kingsley) famous for good trout, most difficult
to catch. In a letter dated 26 February 1950 and addressed to
Mr. P. F. Holmes, the Malham Tarn Field Centre, Tommy
wrote:
I have copied out all the entries of trout caught in the Tarn,
commencing in 1900, when to the jeers of my elders I said I was
going to fish Malham Tarn. At that time I was fourteen years old
and everyone told me how much better fishermen than I had gone
up there and caught nothing. I caught a trout of 1 lb. 9 oz. that
day, and from then I was a confirmed Tarn fisherman!
In August '31, having entered over the years each Tarn catch,
with weight and fly used, he records the grand total: 38 — 82
lbs. 11 oz. — Average, 2 lbs. 3 oz.
He never lost his initial enthusiasm, and he never ceased to be
a careful, meticulous, observant fly-fisherman. He tied his own
flies, he made his own rods, and his always observant eyes took
in every detail that in any way impinged upon the art and the
craft of the angler.
But his international fame (and he was well known to thousands of anglers in North America and Great Britain) rested on
47 his skill as an artist — a carver, a sketcher, and a painter. I do
not know the date at which he started, but, trained as a draughtsman, he had firm command of pen, pencil, and brush, and a fine
eye for form and colour. His realistic wood carvings of fish go
back to the thirties and the results he achieved were remarkable.
He carved for friends — exact, coloured replicas of outstanding
trophy fish; he did carvings of Pacific salmon to publicize the
products of the fishing industry; and he carved for his own de-
fight and pleasure. But he also liked to sketch and paint, and in
the years following the second war he did magnificent illustrations
of game fish for various books, including Haig-Brown's Western
Angler (the trade edition, first printed in 1947), and The Living
Land (1961), and for various periodical publications.
As a result, he became widely known. He carried on a ninning
correspondence with many anglers; he appeared as guest speaker
at conventions and meetings of angling clubs; and he wrote many
articles for sporting magazines. He was well informed, witty, and
a passionate fighter against the industrial forces that threaten
streams, rivers, and lakes by pollution, damming, and mdiscrimi-
nate cutting. And in all that he did there was always a sense of
sureness and authority, based upon his own profound knowledge
achieved through long experience, and upon the resources of the
fine library that he had built for himself over some sixty-five or
seventy years of time. No wonder then that his gift to the Foundation has been one of genuine significance to all true anglers.
The Brayshaw bequest had two immediate results: it stimulated some members of the Foundation to begin a study of books
on angling and on game fish in the university Library and it
brought forth two more comments, one short and one long, on
the Foundation by Lee Straight in the Vancouver Sun. In his
column for 22 October '68, he announced to the public the
Brayshaw donation, and also wrote a somewhat premature
obituary: "The Hawthorne (sic) Foundation was formed by a
group of U.B.C. friends who got together on occasional weekends
48 to angle and ruminate about it The late Professor Hawthorne
(sic) was one of their most ardent, best-loved cronies."
Some three weeks later, Lee Straight lunched with a very alive
Professor Hawthorn and a couple of his cronies at the Faculty
Club and on 16 November he devoted his full column to the
history of the Foundation and the growing significance of the
collection. With grace and wit he also made amends for the
premature obituary:
It was a particularly auspicious occasion for me for it set Straight
straight on two important points. One, on just how the Foundation's
growing library of angling classics is being assembled. And, two, on
the fact that the man after whom it is named, Dr. Harry B. Hawthorn, is a long way from being the "late" professor that I dubbed
him a couple of weeks back .
I don't know where I got the idea that the honorary head of the
foundation was plying his angling wiles on Elysian streams, but anyhow, my apologies to Dr. Hawthorn and our readers. I hope the
good professor can slip away for a spot of angling in that more
earthly paradise of New Zealand, where he once resided and which
he will be visiting at year's end.
The Bibliography
When the Brayshaw collection had been added to the works
acquired by the Foundation over some fifteen years, it was
thought that a bibliography might be of interest, not only to
members of the Foundation, but to all interested in the literature
of angling. After a conference with the Librarian, Mr. Basil
Stuart-Stubbs, we decided that a logical undertaking would be to
gather together in one bibliography the titles of all books in the
U.B.C. Library on angling and on game fish, no matter what
their source. The Library, which had come into being in 1915,
had certainly acquired, in more than a half century, a number of
books on fishing, either in the normal course of purchase, or by
donations from friends of the Library, such as Mr. H. R. Mac-
49 millan, a most skilful fisherman and a genuine bibliophile. Yet it
can be stated categorically that the great majority of the items
listed have come to the Library through the Foundation. We
have made no attempt to include works that deal primarily with
commercial fishing, nor have we attempted generally to list
periodical items.
We have also excluded works on fishing written in classical
times, though we have included that amazing, erudite work by
William Radcliffe, Fishing from the Earliest Times, first published
in 1921. Basically, therefore, the bibliography will be of primary
value to those interested in the art of angling, or to use Walton's
words, "the contemplative man's recreation," and in the history
and development of angling literature from the year 1496 down
to the present day.
Of all branches of sporting literature in the development of
western civilization, the literature of angling is the most extensive,
the most interesting, and, even to the general reader, the most
rewarding. In i486, an unidentified printer of St. Albans published a work commonly called The Boke of St. Albans, though
its more informative title, The Bokys of Haukyng and Huntyng;
and also of cooUarmuris, gives a better indication of its contents
and divisions. Ten years later (1496) a second edition of The
Boke appeared, but to it had been added a fourth part, The
Treatyse of Fysshynge with an Angle. The identity of the author,
or perhaps compiler, has been much debated, but today the
authorship is usually assigned, though with reservations, to a
Dame Juliana Berners (sometimes spelt Barnes), the Prioress of
Sopwell nunnery, near St. Albans. The printer of this second
edition was Wynkyn de Worde, the immediate successor of William Caxton, the first maker of printed books in England.
For the purpose of this introduction, we can leave aside the
complicated problems of authorship and sources. They are relatively unimportant. What is important is the author of the
Treatyse obviously knew much about fishing — fly-fishing in-
50 eluded — and loved to use the angle. She (or he) wrote with
relish and felicity and set the tone for the great works to follow.
For example, if an angler fails to hold his prey after the fish has
struck,
he maye not faylle of a nother yf he dooth as this treatyse techyth:
but yf there be nought in the water. And yet atte the leest he hath
his holsom walke and merye at his ease, a swete ayre of the swete
sauoure of the meede floures: that makyth hym hungry. He hereth
the melodyous armony of fowles. He seeth the yonge swannes:
heerons: duckes: cotes and many other foules wyth theyr brodes.
Whyche me semyth better than alle the noyse of houndys: the
blastes of hornys and the scrye of foulis that hunters: fawkeners &
foulers can make.
So with "the melodyous armony of foules" or, if you wish, the
melodious harmony of birds, the art of angling was introduced
to the English reader. Since that memorable date the stream of
angling books has been constant and ever-expanding — small, it
is true, in the sixteenth century, but much stronger in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and swelling to a vast stream of
works from 1800 to the present day. The U.B.C. collection cannot be described as a great collection. Those of the British
Museum, the Library of Congress, the libraries of Harvard and
Yale are much larger and much more valuable. But it can be
described as a good collection, containing as it does nearly all of
the great titles, and including some items that are rare and of
considerable value. Its great weaknesses are to be found in the
earliest periods: we do not have the second edition of the Boke
of St. Albans, nor the first edition of that remarkable work by
John Dennys, The Secrets of Angling, nor any of the early
editions of Walton, or of Walton and Cotton. Missing too, are
certain of the great works published in the United States during
the earlier portions of the nineteenth century. But we do have
later editions or facsimile copies of nearly all of the early significant works, including some fine facsimiles of Berners, an excellent
5' facsimile of the first edition of Walton's Compleat Angler (1653),
as well as some fourteen other editions of the Compleat Angler,
beginning with that famous edition by Sir John Hawkins, printed
for Thomas Hope in London in 1760.
All in all, the bibliography lists well over six hundred titles,
which constitute at least a very firm base on which a great collection may eventually be established — by continued buying, by
continued giving, and by undiminished interest by all who love
angling.
The arrangement of the bibhography is straightforward: it
opens with a short list of works that are primarily historical or
bibliographical, and then lists the other holdings in alphabetical
order. In cases of multiple authorship cross references have been
generally supplied when they have been considered important.
Two appendices are supplied that may be both of use and
interest: the first is a chronological listing of genuinely significant
works from The Boke of St. Albans to the present; the second, a
list of pseudonyms used by a number of important writers.
The basic preparation of the bibliography is the work of Miss
Susan Starkman, and to her the members of the Foundation
express their sincere thanks. We should also like to express our
appreciation to Mrs. Brayshaw for arranging for the transfer of
her husband's collection to the Foundation. And finally we pay
grateful tribute to Mr. Basil Stuart-Stubbs, the University Librarian, for the aid and encouragement he has given to us. Not
a Waltonian ("I am temperamentally a Jainist," he says), he
none the less loves the world of nature, and "I spend as much
time as I can up to my ears in the green things, principally bird
watching.'' So he is, to a certain degree at least, a disciple of
Dame Juliana, who found infinite pleasure in listening to "the
melodyous armony of fowles."
52  

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