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Fly Fishing in Medieval Europe

Saturday, 18 April 2015  |  Simon

Fly fishing has a rich history, but it is only in recent times that we have begun to learn something about how it developed in medieval Europe. We now know that fly fishing was practised as early as the beginning of the thirteenth century.

German texts refer to catching trout and grayling by using a "feathered hook" (vederanglel) from the thirteenth century onward. The first reference is from a romance by Wolfram von Eschenbach, written about 1210. The story’s hero, Schionatulander, wades barefoot in a stream to catch trout and grayling with a fly. Other texts identify fly fishing as the method preferred by commoners from 1360 onwards. The fishing using a fly was practised over a vast area stretching from the Swiss plain all the way to Styria

Over the next several blogs we will be going into the history of fly fishing in some more detail, from the 15th to the 19th centuries.

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