For more than a century three successive generations of the Lunn family tended and cared for the Houghton Club’s fifteen miles of the river Test, the most famous chalkstream in the world and the birthplace of dry-fly fishing. As river keepers William J. Lunn, his son Alfred W. Lunn and grandson Mick Lunn contributed to the science of entomology, the breeding and rearing of trout and most memorably the art of fly tying with the Lunn’s Particular and many other famous patterns.

For the interest of the modern angler, William Lunn’s great-great-grandson, Ben will chronical each of the patterns the Lunns tied for their members – both those they invented as well as the classics of their peers.

Lessons from the past

William was described by his grandson Mick in his autobiography "A Particular Lunn", as a research worker and a skilled countryman obsessed with wresting the secrets from nature. His interests focused most significantly on the lifecycle of the various natural river flies that formed the trout's diet. He taught his son and grandson that the health of the river can be best judged by the abundance, or lack thereof, of certain species of flies and he determined ways to assist in the development or stocking of the river's fly life in response to factors that harmed its ecosystem. Alf and Mick would go on to make their own discoveries both in entomology but also within their own specialist subjects of breeding trout and managing the diseases of fish.

Through the course of a series of Blogs, Ben will explore the lessons they learned and how they came to those conclusions in the hope that these findings are of interest to the modern fly fisherman.