brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell

2Apr/111

Gutenberg Gem: Blacker’s Art of Flymaking, by William Blacker.

I'm pretty much a city slicker. I'm more comfortable ordering take out than farming, fishing or hunting. My dad grew up on a farm, and went hunting and fishing for food. He used to tell stories of how his bicycle had a mount for his rifle across the handlebars. When I was a kid, he used to go hunt for deer and elk. We ate venison, not really out of need, but as a nod to my father's humbler beginnings. We went fishing for trout and salmon. And we used to go camping. I haven't been camping in twenty years. But sometimes I admit: I do kind of miss it. And fishing. It makes me think of quieter, slower times. The sound of running water. Of waking up early with dad and my brother to catch trout, and cook them for breakfast.

All of that is an aside. We did most of our trout fishing with just worms or fish eggs for bait, but I do remember a bit of fly fishing. Today's Gutenberg Gem is a manual for tying flies. It seems like an quaint anachronism now, to spend hours tying flies, or writing books about them, carefully illustrated with beautiful water colors. It probably seems like a pointless activity to most of us, but it seems oddly appealing to me. The blog motto is, after all, "there is much pleasure in useless knowledge".

The Project Gutenberg eBook of Blacker's Art of Flymaking, by William Blacker..

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