Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Voices from the Past: What is the Finest Fishing Lure in the World? (1922)

The following question was sent in to the fishing editor of Field & Stream in May 1922. It is an eternal one, in which the editor (Ladd Plumley) did a fine job of answering the question. Using the criteria below, I put the question to you: what is the best fishing lure in the world?

Editor, Field and Stream

"What is the finest fish lure in the world?"

-- S.J. Kelsey

ANS: Mr. Kelsey's question is certainly a very interesting one, and we are obliged to him for it. It is some question, all right! "What is the finest fishing lure in the world?"

Fishermen of different kinds have, of course, very different ideas as to tackle and lures. The sea and coast fisherman could not agree with his inland brother as to tackle or bait. If, however, we limit the question Mr. Kelsey asks to inland water fishing we can make it more simple, and perhaps arrive at an answer—that is for inland waters.

My own opinion is that the most productive lure in the world, the lure that in the past has caught the most fish of inland waters, if by lure we admit bait, is the ancient and always with us good old garden squirmer. Of course, if we do not admit bait to the class of lures. but regard all lures as artificial copies of living or dead things, then the question becomes still more narrow.

Anyhow, the question is not what is the most productive lure, but what is the finest of all lures?

Now for myself I consider fly fishing the finest kind of fishing for inland fish in the world. A personal opinion and that only. And, again as a personal opinion, I believe that there is one artificial fly which of the records of all artificial flies whatever stands at the very top. That fly is the Coachman—Royal and plain patterns.

Hence, and I speak for in personal opinion, as fly fishing, at least for inland waters, is the finest fishing in the world, and as the Coachman has made its record as the finest artificial fly in the world, the Coachman is the finest lure in the world.

But FIELD AND STREAM will be glad to hear the personal opinions of its readers as to this interesting question--What in their individual opinion is the finest fish lure in the world?


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