Although he was largely driven by commercial motives (he was a very successful Cheltenham tackle dealer), James Ogden was a cutting edge fly fishermen in his day and one of the styles he championed was the straw-bodied floating mayfly. This pattern was fifty years old by the time Ogden began to use it, but it solved many problems anglers faced in the days before anyone discovered things we take for granted, like floating lines and buoyancy treatments for artificials. Ogden toured the country promoting his dressing of the pattern and became an angling celebrity in the process.
In this video, Andrew Herd takes one of Ogden's straw-bodied mayflies for a field trial and finds that it is still a killing pattern more than a century after it was first tied. If you would like to see a video about how the fly is tied, click here.
James Ogden is also featured in Andrew's book The History of Fly Fishing, which is the most comprehensive history of fly fishing available today.You can order the book by visiting this link.
You can learn more about James Ogden in Angling Giants, another classic from the amusing and informative pen of this well-known author. You can read more about Angling Giants by clicking here and you can order a copy by following this link.