I have much admired the writing of Viscount Grey, who’s delivery of reflection, observation and experiences of life at home or on holiday strike a cord with the way I would like my own writing to be read. I recently acquired an old 1931 reprint of Fallodon Papers a compilation of manuscripts or as the title notes ‘Paper’ delivered at Societies, Clubs, Associations and Unions with the one addition starting on page 135 titled ‘Fly Fishing’.
Having found this copy of the book in my local charity shop on my way home I was compelled to buy it, not for just the chapter on Fly Fishing but for the observation on life in general which makes up the other papers. Viscount Grey has the ability to write in a away that you feel he is talking to you. The chapter on Fly Fishing is such an enjoyable read and one from which one can learn. I don’t wish to quote the book chapter and verse but the very last paragraph of this chapter made me smile for it embodies the thrill for us all of the angle and the comfort I feel with young Tales enjoyment of the sport…’It has been said already that the pleasure of angling is not limited to fly-fishing, though this may be the most exquisite form of it. All anglers know what this pleasure is:it is too comprehensive and pervading to be described within the compass of words; it is too subtle in some of its forms to be analysed ; too inter mate to be explained: to those who are not anglers it cannot be conveyed, or made intelligible. The gift of the power to enjoy has various forms and diverse objects. There is no need for those who have one form of this gift to look askance at those who have another. But surely as life draws to a close no one can look back on days of recreation with more certain gratitude than he who has had the opportunity of fly-fishing and been born with the gift of enjoying angling.’
The greatest gift of all is to witness the joy that angling has brought young Tales, that smile from when the line tightens and his admiration for craftsmanship in the tools he uses and the wider appreciation of nature and his fellow anglers.