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Fly Fishing in Herriot Country



Bob Dales, who died in March 2015 at the age of 101, was Waterlog’s oldest subscriber and contributor. He will be much missed. His writing for both Waterlog and Medlar was both insightful and of great value.

He was a former insurance broker, who was involved for many years in much voluntary work, including sitting on youth unemployment committees as well as running the the Yorkshire Branch of the Salmon and Trout Association. Bob was known to many game fishermen through his work for the Association, from Regional Organiser to National Vice Chairman and Vice President. His writing appeared in The Field, Country Illustrated, Trout & Salmon, Waterlog, Countryman’s Weekly and many other publications. He wrote a book about fishing in Yorkshire called Fly Fishing in Herriot Country, published in 2005 and was a founder member of the Jervaulx Fly Fishers.

Bob was deemed unfit to serve in the Forces at the outset of the Second World War, became the Air Raid Precautions controller for the Northallerton area in the 1940s and directed the emergency services when the town was bombed. He was denied his call up to active service after losing the sight in one eye during a fencing injury at the age of sixteen, but in the latter part of the war was accepted by the RAF for ground duties and was twice mentioned in despatches before being invalided out of the service.

He continued to write in his later years for an astonishing twelve hours a day, including many articles and books on fishing and was also planning a children’s book. Politically motivated and often quite vociferous, he was a strong advocate of the abolition of the House of Lords and said that House of Commons remained ‘infested by professional politicians with little or no experience of the wider world’. The Lords, he said, should be replaced with a second chamber containing elected leaders from a wide range of organisations, people with proven ability and experience better able to make political decisions. He also spoke out for the older generation, asking that it be brought back into the decision-making process, saying that older people made better decisions as they gain wisdom with age.

Bob had three children, Lynda, Richard and Jaqueline, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. His wife, Enid, died at the age of ninety-nine in 2013 and they had celebrated seventy-five years of marriage in the same year. They lived in Brompton in North Yorkshire.