Wets, the subtle art form where masters are few and far between.
Perhaps he was exaggerating for effect, but Stewart wrote: "We believe we are not above the mark in stating that ninety-nine anglers out of a hundred fish down with the artificial fly; they never think of fishing in any other way, and never dream of attributing their want of success to it." Stewart did not claim to have invented his technique, nor to be the only one doing it (especially when strong winds blew favorably upstream). But he made the technique matter, by enumerating its strategic advantages: the angler is unseen by the trout that faces upstream, there is greater probability of hooking the trout when it rises, the water is not disturbed so as to frighten the trout you are targeting, and "the angler can much better adapt the motions of his flies to those of the natural insect. And here it may be mentioned as a rule, that the nearer the motions of the artificial flies resemble those of the natural ones under similar circumstances, the greater will be the prospects of success." Stewart's first three listed advantages probably encouraged the making of more stringent upstream dry fly rules in Halford's time, but this all-important fourth advantage, the emphasis on behavior, keeps on being forgotten and rediscovered; much more recently in Datus Proper's What the Trout Said.
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