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8 Jan 2011

The Bibio man

During the drafting of the book's text I reached an entry about Burrishoole in Mayo, which I visited in 2007 and 2010. When I interviewed him in 2007, Ken (Whelan) gave me some extensive and fascinating insights into the life and work of Major Charles Roberts, who once owned the fishery. As I was drafting recently, I dimly remembered an article about Furnace in an old number of T&S; I thought the article, which included a rather splendid photo of Major Roberts, dated from the 1970s. I wrote to T&S. Very kindly they tracked the article and the photo down (it was from 1980) and sent me a copy of the relevant photo. Here it is, courtesy of T&S. Not for the first time, I'm most grateful to them.

Major Roberts is also known to posterity as the creator of the that splendid fly, the Bibio, which he tied with a midriff of orange fur (not scarlet, red or claret). I don't know whether Major Roberts invented the fly or whether he was adapting an older dressing (I suspect the last), but it's fairly clear that Major Roberts' Bibio is intended to be vaguely representative of the Heather fly.

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