A discussion of tying dry flies and nymphs, with reports of fishing on the Battenkill River, as recorded in a series of five autograph letters, all signed "Jack," 3 May 1948 to 5 January 1949, on his "John Atherton / Shaftsbury [or Arlington], Vermont" letterhead, to Wendle ("Tom") Collins, in large part concerning Collins' nymph patterns that Atherton would use in his forthcoming book ("The Fly and the Fish").

Shaftsbury and Arlington, VT: 1948-1949. 4to. Five letters, 16 pages total, approximately 2500 words, in part: "You may be sure that i will learn a great deal from studying [your nymph patters]. One thing you've done, which like many good inventions causes us all to wonder why the hell we didn't think of it, is to use the hackle on the belly, and just trim off the barbules on each side. That really is an invention. It's so much more realistic than the clumsy job I've done with wrapped hackle, which never seems to give that effect ... in fact the whole nymph looks practically indestructible. I'll never use these to fish with, as I'm too scared I'll hang them in a bush ... you'll be interested to know that yesterday was some day on the Battenkill. Our first good hatch is on, God bless it, and the good fish beginning to feed ... when the hatch actualy got going I took 7 or 8 more on dries, all good ones. God what a time. The first good day of the year"; another letter contains detailed dressing patterns for six of Atherton's dry flies, covering three pages and all of the letters deal wholly with fly tying and fishing matters. "In connection with the work of Preston Jennings, Atherton too, was intrigued by the effects of light and color on the behavior of trout. A friend of Edward Hewitt, he sought out through experimentation the various cause and effect of such properties on trout. His findings were published in his classic book 'The Fly and the Fish' (New York: Macmillan, 1951; a limited edition was published by the Anglers' Club)" (classictrout.com). At the time of this correspondence, Collins, a radio producer long involved with Kate Smith's Radio Hour, had bought a part interest in the E.F. Payne Rod Company and was pursuing his interests in fly-tying and trout fishing. Ernest Schwiebert deals at length with the relationship between Atherton and Collins, and their fly-tying theories, in his book "Nymphs" (Guilford, CT, 2007; pages 88-91 of volume one). Very good. Folded for mailing. (#6104). Item #59091

Price: $1,500.00