My comment about Skues not being the only source of good information was in response to WiFlyfisher John's earlier comment. He knows that I'm a big fan of Datus Proper and was coaxing me to mention What the Trout Said.
To your list of "Hall of Fame" authors, I'll add a few more whose names haven't come up yet. These are authors who, in my opinion, contributed important, new, all-original insights into fly fishing and tying that have withstood the test of time. Authors of our combined lists are designers and producers of new ideas and methods; most authors are retailers. I'm sure there are more, but these additional authors would certainly be in my Hall of Fame:
- W.C. Stewart
Proper was a career diplomat for the Foreign Service, but he was a scientist at heart. Proper's approach to understanding the principles of fly design was to systematically vary the design features of a fly one-by-one, and compare the effectiveness of two flies that differ by only one variable. It is the scientific method in its purest and most successful form. Trout provided the data, and Proper interpreted the results. Hence, the title of the book.
I drove the full length of Hyalite Creek a few years ago, imagining Proper at each pool testing the latest hypothesis. That was his laboratory and the location of his tragic death 15 years ago after slipping, falling and drowning in a few inches inches of water.