Thursday, 4 May 2017

Trout Again: The Carshalton Dodge

An article titled 'The Hampshire Fly Fisher' in the Dcember 17th, 1853, issue of The Field contains this startling sentence [my italics]:
'On the other hand, as far as fly fishing is concerned, fishing upstream, unless you are trying the Carshalton dodge and fishing with a dry fly, is very awkward.'
 As regular readers will know, I have lived in the suburban demiparadise of Carshalton for the best part of sixty years, man and boy - but that is the first I've ever heard of 'the Carshalton dodge'. It dates back to the days when Carshalton's river, the Wandle, was famous in angling circles as a crystal-clear chalk stream rich in trout. The implication seems to be that the 'dodge' of luring the wary trout with a dry fly delicately skimming the surface of the water originated in Carshalton, which can thereby claim an honoured place in the history of fly fishing.
 There were even two flies named for the demiparadise - the Carshalton Cocktail and the Carshalton Dun. If the regeneration of the Wandle continues on its present hopeful course, the Carshalton dodgers might yet be back in business, playing their wily Cocktails and Duns over the sparkling, trout-rich waters.

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