Specially for TRM’s trout fishing purist – WG… A fascinating tale.
SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed manages everything at TRM) has been asked about the origins of our trout “logo” – now that we have replicated it on main road signage and elsewhere. Her standard reply was usually to explain how TRM is located in the trout capital of the world and the North, South, East, West compass bearings are to indicate we are half way to everywhere. If you look carefully at the photo above on right you should just see the replica ornament on the gable end of the house behind the reception.
But SWMBO’s explanation was never quite complete as there is much more to it than that. For TRM’s select group of trout anglers it is a famous symbol, (as is TRM?) with significant historical links, designed over 300 years ago for perhaps the most famous “fishing temple” in the world and is now part of fly fishing folk lore (as is TRM?)…
Did you know where Tongariro River Motel (“TRM”) adopted their logo from? It is a direct copy of the finial on one of the most famous fishing lodges in the world with direct links to Izaak Walton. Walton, the author of the angling ‘bible’, the ‘The Compleat Angler’ (sic), spent hours on the banks of the River Dove with landowner Charles Cotton – who built their retreat in 1674 in honour of his friend.
The Compleat Angler is reputed to be the third most widely published book in the world after the bible and Shakespeare. Trout fishing must have been more popular back then.
TRM’s logo was originally designed as the finial for Charles Cotton’s “Fishing Temple” on the banks of the River Dove. About 340 years ago this was where he regularly fished with Izaak Walton. – the father of fly fishing.
Recently it became exposed to the public again as follows:
Property Advert from UK:
Stone temple was built in 17th century in honour of Izaak Walton author of angling ‘bible’, ‘The Compleat Angler’
He spent hours fishing with friend Charles Cotton – who built the retreat in 1674 as a place to shelter.
Now the family-owned retreat in Hertfordshire has been put on the market by owner Michael Collins
Whoever buys it will own three mile stretch of riverbank, fishing rights, listed lodge and 33 acres of woodland. The birthplace of angling – complete with a 400-year-old ‘temple’ honouring the inventor of fly-fishing – was put on the market for £450,000.
The stone temple was built in the 17th century in honour of author Izaak Walton, and as a place to rest and take shelter on the banks of the River Dove, in Staffordshire.
Walton, the author of the angling ‘bible’, the ‘The Compleat Angler’ (sic), spent hours on the banks with landowner Charles Cotton – who built the retreat in 1674 in honour of his friend. Their initials are carved in stone about the doorway of the Grade II listed stone-built structure.
Whoever buys the idyllic fishing retreat will not only own the three mile stretch of the riverbank, the fishing rights, and the Grade II listed fishing lodge, but also 33 acres of unspoilt woodland and grassland.
Tranquil: The unofficial birthplace of angling, complete with its 400 year old ‘temple,’ built in the 17th century in honour of author Izaak Walton, is up for sale for £450,000
Historic: The quaint interior of the temple with open fireplace. Walton, the author of the angling ‘bible’, the ‘The Compleat Angler’ (sic), would spend hours on the banks with landowner Charles Cotton – who built the retreat in 1674 as a place for he and his friend to shelter as they fished
The sale includes three miles of beautiful unspoiled riverbank, stretching alongside River Dove in Staffordshire
But now facing retirement and with two of his three children voting to sell the fishery, it has gone on the market. The temple has been owned by the family since 1953.
Mr Collins employs a keeper to look after the fishery and maintain its banks and hopes the new owner will retain his services.
He said: ‘This is the cream of game fishing. It is positioned at the head of the river where you aren’t bothered with any coarse fish that live in the bigger rivers like pike. It is purely game fishing, trout and grayling, which are wild and are not farmed.
‘It’s lovely scenery and history makes it a very sought-after venue to fish.’
The temple even bears the crest ‘Piscatoribys Sacrum’ (Sacred to Fishermen) over the door.
In the mid-17th century Charles Cotton, an author, inherited Beresford Hall which was a quarter of a mile from the River Dove.
Mr Collins said: ‘Cotton was so impressed with Walton and the way he taught him to fish using a dry fly that he adopted him as his father in the fishing field and they became great buddies.
Cotton built the retreat in 1674 in honour of his friend Walton, left. Walton, the author of the angling ‘bible’, the ‘The Compleat Angler’ (sic), would spend hours on the banks with the landowner – who later added to the tome.
Their initials are carved in stone about the doorway of the Grade II listed stone-built structure. The temple even bears the crest ¿Piscatoribys Sacrum¿ (Sacred to Fishermen) over the door
Walton’s tome – the so called bible for anglers – was published in 1653 after he and his friend Cotton spent many hours experimenting with methods of fishing
‘He built the fishing lodge down by the river and their initials were carved above the door and the fire place.
‘The temple is just four walls and a roof with a stone table and fire place.
‘It was a place to shelter in and take a break and have a spot of lunch. You can imagine servants coming down from the main house with trays of meats and cheeses.
(Photo of Wendy & Pip – SWMBO – delicately crossing the River Dove’s ancient stepping stones in 2010. I wonder if SWMBO will be remembered in 300 years time?)
‘He pretty much invented dry fly-fishing and mastered how to attract fish by laying an artificially fly on the surface of the water very gently – there is a great skill in doing this.
‘He also passed on tips such as the fisherman disguising themselves in khaki colours and bending down on one knee or behind a bush.’
‘When the Compleat Angler was re-published in 1676, Walton was too old to contribute to it so Cotton added new chapters about trout flies and techniques for tying them.’
Mr Collins, a retired businessman, said: ‘It is run more as a hobby and as a pleasure than a business but over the years it has paid for itself.
‘There is no limit at all on the number of fishermen who can fish on it but I don’t want a 100 men fishing the river so I restrict the numbers.
‘The Beresford Fishery has about three miles of superb wild trout fishing on the River Dove.
‘At its heart is a Fisherman’s Temple which is of huge historical significance and its three beats each have contrasting qualities, enough to challenge any keen fly fisherman.’
I wonder what Izaak would have thought of the Tongariro…
Limestone rivers of Derbyshire
The River Dove is the principal river of the Peak District 40 miles in length. It rises on Axe Edge Moor near Buxton and flows generally south to its confluence with the River Trent at Newton Solney. From there, its waters reach the North Sea via the Humber Estuary. For most of its way it forms the boundary between the counties of Staffordshire and Derbyshire The river meanders past Longnor and Hartington and cuts through a set of stunning limestone gorges, Beresford Dale, Wolfscote Dale, Milldale and Dovedale.
COTTON’S FISHING TEMPLE
Trout fishing on this exceptional limestone river dates back to the 1600’s when Izaak Walton wrote The Compleat Angler with his friend Charles Cotton who built the Fishing Temple in 1671 that stands today and is our fishing cabin on this historic beat.
Set against the backdrop of Beresford Dale the river is dry fly fishing of the highest quality. The beat covers a huge variety of water with fast sections, long glides, tumbling weirs and deep pools. The trout and grayling are free rising to abundant hatches of Mayfly, Blue Winged Olives and a variety of sedges.
The beat may be fished from the bank or with some wading if preferred. It is suitable for one or two rods, or a party of three or four.
Alternatives to consider
£60 per Rod
June 1 – June 15
£95 per Rod
June 16 – October 7
£60 per Rod
Fishing Guide (optional)
£175 one person
£250 two/three people
(Photos on right from Winchester Cathedral where their chapel is dedicated to fly fishing, being the last resting place of the father of fly fishing, Izaak Walton – who WG claims is his great great great x 11 – Grandfather.)