Sir Francis Ronalds and his Family

The Fly-Fisher's Entomology by Alfred Ronalds

Alfred's frontispiece in the second edition of The Fly-Fisher's Entomology (1839)

Alfred Ronalds published The Fly-Fisher's Entomology in 1836. It was a runaway success with twelve editions being issued over the next century and it is still available new today from various publishers. A Japanese edition was published in 2011.

The book is regarded as a "masterpiece" that changed fly fishing forever. Its uniqueness was in combining practical fishing knowhow with precise pictures and scientific descriptions of the insects and their imitations that fish were attracted to in different months and weather conditions through the year.

Sir Francis Ronalds assisted his brother considerably throughout the project. He joined Alfred in his observations of fish and insect behaviour, contributed some of the scientific material, edited the book, checked the proofs, and wrote the prefaces. He, sister Emily and brother-in-law Samuel Carter then produced the fourth edition after Alfred moved to Australia. Their nephew John Corrie Carter edited the tenth edition in 1901 and he, Alfred's son Charles and his great-nephew Dr Tennent Ronalds all assisted in the eleventh edition in 1913.

Alfred's expertise in the design and manufacture of artificial flies lived on through his daughter Maria Shanklin, who established a pioneering fly-tying factory in Sale, Victoria, a decade after Alfred's death.

Further Information

Alfred Ronalds: Angler, Artisan and Australian Pioneer (2022) - published by Medlar Press

First edition of The Fly-Fisher's Entomology (1836)

Alfred Ronalds and John Corrie Carter in Radnorshire (2019) - published in the Transactions of the Radnorshire Society

Entry for The Fly-Fisher's Entomology in Wikipedia

Sir Francis Ronalds: Father of the Electric Telegraph (2016) - published by Imperial College Press

Maria Ronalds Shanklin: Pioneer Fly Tier in Australia (2021) - published in American Fly Fisher, Vol. 47, No. 1