Chalk stream fly fishing
In 1877 Halford became a member of the Houghton Fly Fishers on the River Test. In 1879, in John Hammond's tackle shop in Winchester, Halford met angler George Selwyn Marryat, a meeting that was to change the course of fly-fishing history. They were to be friends for the remainder of Marryat's life. In 1880, Halford found accommodation at Houghton Mill, on the banks of the Test and, with Marryat, began his research for his first book, Floating Flies and How to Dress Them, published in 1886. Halford wanted Marryat to be joint author of the book, but Marryat declined, wishing to remain anonymous. The book was a huge success, and laid the foundations for Halford's legacy as the "High Priest of the Dry Fly".
In 1889, when he was 45, Halford retired from the family business to pursue fly fishing and writing. In that year he published his second book, Dry Fly Fishing in Theory and Practice. Before he died, he fished a variety of beats on the Kennet, the Test and the Itchen but he rarely fished outside the country or away from the chalk streams of the south of England. It was on the Itchen where he met and fished with G. E. M. Skues in 1891. Halford published four other books on dry-fly fishing before his death: Making a Fishery (1895), Dry Fly Entomology (1897), Modern Development of the Dry Fly (1910) and The Dry Fly Man's Handbook (1913), as well as his autobiography An Angler's Autobiography (1903).
Halford was among the founding members of the British Flyfishers' Club, a prestigous gentlemens' club in London devoted to the sport of fly fishing.
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