The Harry Hawthorn Fly Fishing and Angling Collection is approaching 70 years old. It holds more than 2200 books on fishing related subjects, with 63 of them digitized. The collection itself was dreamed up in 1953 by eight UBC professors who were on a fishing trip together at Upper Campbell Lake. They decided to start a collection on fly fishing and soon began fundraising efforts to purchase books.
Pictured below are some members of the Hawthorn Fishing Club. For this trip they went to Pennask Lake in the Okanagan. You can see them eagerly preparing their day’s catch for a feast.
In the end, these avid fishermen put together a great collection. Part of what makes it so compelling are the illustrations and image plates found throughout the books. Images include photographs and drawings of outdoor enthusiasts, scenery, as well as fishing gear and fish. Here are some examples:
Particularly interesting are three scrapbooks belonging to Noel Money – a hunter and fisherman. They detail his various outdoor activities from 1884 to 1940, including international fishing and hunting trips. He kept record of everything; on this page he included his $15.00 angling permit along with pictures of the fish he caught.
Aside from the Hawthorn Collection, Open Collections is host to many fish and fisheries materials. Within the Westland collection, there are several episodes with a focus on fishing in British Columbia. The links below are for a two-part series from 1986 featuring angler John Massey as he demonstrates how to tie flies for fly fishing. His precise movements and calm demeanor make it look like a true art-form.
Click the titles to watch the series:
You can browse all 63 digitized books from the Hawthorn Fly Fishing and Angling Collection here.
To learn more about how the Hawthorn Collection came about, please visit our previous post on the topic: Explore Open Collections: Harry Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection | Digitization Centre (ubc.ca)
Happy digital fishing, everyone!