The Way of a Trout with the Fly

Plate III - Another Method of Dressing Nymphs

The Way of a Trout with the Fly and Some Further Studies in Minor Tactics is a fly fishing book written by G. E. M. Skues published in London in 1921. This was Skues's second book after Minor Tactics of the Chalk Stream (1910).


The Way of a Trout was originally intended to be a treatise on the theory and practice of dressing trout flies but, by Skues's own admission, does not do a very good job of it. The book does include a number of original and interesting chapters on fly dressing and Skues's theories on the vision of trout. Additionally, the Minor Tactics section expands on Skues's exploration of nymph fishing for trout.[1]


He pursued the matter [Nymph fishing] with his striking books The Way of a Trout with the Fly and Nymph Fishing for Chalk Stream Trout. Mr. Skues is a useful antedote to the extremists who followed Halford and should be read along with that author. To Mr. G. E. M. Skues anglers are indebted among other things for his particular method of tying as well as for his imitations of nymphs; they are given in his Minor Tactics of the Chalk Stream and The Way of a Trout with the Fly.[2]

This is a classic and I often wonder if Skues knew it would be when he set pen to paper. The book is inspirational in a way that Halford's work never was and grips the reader's attention right from the cover, which in the first edition bears the words: ....

The Way of a Trout shows Skues at the height of his powers and it contains the best of his thinking on fishing nymphs and semi-submerged patterns, illustrated by the sort of asides, stories and vast fund of experience that only he could call upon.[4]

His second book, which many still regard as a masterpiece, was The Way of a Trout with the Fly (1921), and it quickly established him as one of the day's great angling theorists--as it also established the intellectual and ethical basis for sunken flies as legitimate tooks of a well-rounded angler.[5]


Subsequent editions

Additional reading

See also

Bibliography of fly fishing

External links


  1. Walker, C. F. (1956). The Angling Letters of G. E. M. Skues. London: Adams and Charles Black.
  2. Robb, James (1945). Notable Angling Literature. London: Herbert Jenkins Ltd. pp. 169, 197.
  3. Gingrich, Arnold (1965). The Well Tempered Angler. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 237.
  4. Herd, Dr. Andrew, A Fly Fishing History
  5. Skues, G. E. M. (2008). Schullery, Paul, ed. Skues on Trout: Observations from an Angler Naturalist. Mechanicsburg, Pa: Stackpole Books. pp. xi–xii. ISBN 9780811703581.
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