(Previous posts relating to Major Oliver Kite can be found HERE)
Dear Caught by the River,
Just for a starting point there are some fantastic tributes to Kite in the most recent edition of Nymph Fishing in Practice both in the introduction and in the appendices – these are scribed adoringly by many luminaries of the fly-tying and fly-fishing world. His early death was yet another premature exit from the angling world although allegedly he went out like a light while fishing, the sort of death most of us couldn’t be happier with! His fly-tying legacy leaves us with, most famously, his Kite’s Imperial and Bare Hook Nymph, the latter of which is as its name suggests probably the simplest fly in the world (a couple of turns of copper wire around the shank and thats it). He was truly the disciple of Frank Sawyer’s and his Pheasant Tail Nymph, further developing the methods of fishing this most deadly creation which is still a staple of the trout-fishing world today. Accounts suggest the two were pals but I recall reading somewhere, possibly in the above tome, that there was an altercation over Kite appearing on the jacket of one of Sawyer’s works rather than Sawyer himself. Anyway, he’s certainly a fascinating and elegant man to read and I watched with awe the programmes that have recently popped up on the internet – as well as the man himself, these take us back to a different world in different times where it seems, there was just enough time to stand and stare.