Elsa Lowry, nee Garrett (1914-1991)

elsa ed 2
Miss Elsa Garrett, Katoomba Daily (NSW : 1920 – 1939), Friday 2 March 1934, page 2

Elsa Ernestine Lilias Garrett was born in Waverley in 1914, the daughter of Ernest Gordon Garrett (1890-1959) and Lillian, nee Penrose (1888-1965).

In the 1920s the family moved to the Blue Mountains where Ernest took up a position as accountant and company secretary at the Katoomba – Leura gas works. Ernest spent all his leisure time, fishing rod in hand, on the local streams and at meetings of the Blue Mountains Rod Fishers Society, which was actively involved in local trout stocking programs. In 1939 Ernest and his future son-in-law William Lowry were elected office holders in the Katoomba and the Blackheath branches of the Central Tablelands Acclimatisation Society.

Encouraged by her father’s angling interests, Elsa began tying fishing flies at an early age and later made contact with the American novelist and fishing writer, Zane Grey. After leaving Katoomba High School at the Intermediate level (year 10 equivalent), she established her own fly tying business at 172 Katoomba Street where she employed up to five staff.

When Elsa married William Lowry, engineering draughtsman in the RAAF, in April 1942 in Katoomba, their address was the Garrett family home ‘Murango’ in well-to-do Lilianfels Avenue at Echo Point, which Gordon had purchased in 1940. Gordon died there aged 59 in September 1950, his funeral was held at the Katoomba Presbyterian church which many members of the local Masonic Lodge and Rotary Club attended.

William Rowan Lowry was born in May 1905 in Belfast, Norther Ireland; he qualified as an architectural draughtsman and immigrated to Australia in 1926, in the early 1930s was living with his parents in the Sydney harbour-side suburb of Northbridge, from 1934-37 he was living in Blackheath and listed in the electoral roll as tennis court lessee, in 1943 he was staying at Tattersall’s Hotel in Parkes where he was working as a draughtsman. During the war years interest in tennis declined and two of the Blackheath courts were converted into a bowling green, this may have been the reason for William taking whatever work he could get while leaving Elsa at her parents’ home. William enlisted in the Army while in Parkes and served as a private in 27 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps.

At the end of the War the couple moved to Glen Innes where William worked as a draughtsman and Elsa tied trout flies commercially under her married name; and where the New England trout fishing enjoyed a high reputation. William died in August 1979 and is buried with his wife in Glen Innes cemetery. Elsa died in January 1991, her entomology and trout fly collections are now held in the local historical society museum.

Brown trout were first imported from Tasmania and liberated in the Coxs River and other suitable waters in the 1870s. Trout fishing was becoming popular in the Blue Mountains as early as the 1880s and by the 1920s the Blue Mountains branch of the Central Tablelands Acclimatisation Society had been established to stock local streams, fishing was actively promoted in tourist guides and a hatchery was developed near Oberon, which supplied rainbow and brown trout stock for release in the Blue Mountains and elsewhere.

Sources: Ancestry.library.com, Trove.nla.gov.au , Blackheath Today from Yesterday 2005, other sources shown below.

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flies
Some of of Elsa’s trout flies from: Katoomba Girl’s Enterprise (1934, March 1). The Katoomba Daily (NSW : 1920 – 1939), p. 1. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193882636 .  They appear to include traditional English  patterns such as Mallard and Claret, Hare and Copper, Greenwell’s Glory, Royal Coachman, Alexandria and others that astute readers may care to hazard a guess in comments

A number of stories about Elsa appeared in the newspapers of the time.

The Katoomba Daily 21 Jan 1936 records:

“Zane Grey’s Thanks

Letter to Miss Elsa Garrett.

It was a thoughtful action on the part of Miss Elsa Garrett, of Katoomba, to send a parcel of trout flies, of her own manufacture, to Mr Zane Grey, the famous American author and sportsman, and she was delighted to receive the following letter:

Zane Grey Camp, Bermagui, NSW.
Anyone who sends me trout flies wins my regard; and when the person is a girl – well then it is simply splendid. Your flies are lovely, well made and pretty. I shall treasure them for the wonderful Nato streams in Tahiti and for the famed Oregon streams. Nato are the most difficult fish to raise and catch.

Thank you a thousand times.
Zane Grey.

Enclosed with the letter was an autographed photo. We learn from Mr E G Garrett that there is the possibility of Mr Grey visiting Katoomba to inspect the streams in the district.”

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“Trout Fishing

New Mountains Attraction

STOCKING THE STREAMS.

Mr. E. Gordon Garrett submitted a matter at the last meeting of the Katoomba and Leura Chamber of Commerce which is worthy of consideration and should be followed up. Briefly, his idea is to further popularise the Mountains by affording facilities for fishing, especially when associated with trout.

That angling would be a powerful attraction to the Mountains there is no doubt, confirmation of which is afforded by the experiences of other resorts. In fact, Mr. Garrett illustrated this by recounting details of a recent visit to Duckmaloi, where he found crowds of the devotees of rod, line and fly engrossed in the fascination of whipping the stream for its speckled denizens. Many of these anglers were Mountaineers and doubtless visitors, besides enthusiasts from the Lithgow district.

There are Mountain streams with their rapids and pools, that should furnish ideal resorts for trout. Only recently, a party cross-countried to the gorge of the Grose, and proved beyond doubt the existence of rainbow trout in surprising quantity. Fry had been liberated some years ago in the more accessible reaches,   where trout fishing is a favorite pastime with those in the know. Mr. Garrett suggested that in still water, such as Lake Medlow and the storage dam at Katoomba, perch ova or fry should be introduced. Those waters would be more suitable to perch than trout which love the running streams.

As a result of the discussion, the assistance of the Fisheries Department is to be sought, and information obtained therefrom will form the subject of consideration which may very possibly result in definite action being taken towards stocking our waters. The question of drawing up regulations and enforcing them will also have to be discussed.”

Trout Fishing. (1922, March 24). The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW : 1909 – 1928), p. 7. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108233135

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“AN UNUSUAL OCCUPATION.

Childish Pastime Develops into Profession.

GIRL ANGLER MAKES TROUT FLIES.

There is at any rate, one girl in New South Wales who takes off her hat to the depression, “But for it, ” she says, “I might now be sitting before a typewriter in a stuffy office, instead of which…”

The pause conjures up not only a vision of Miss Elsa Garrett’s studio, its walls lined with case upon case of the exquisite trout and salmon flies that her clever fingers have fashioned but of adventure – of cool waters singing musically over smooth pebbles, reflections of sweeping green willows and casuarinas, the indigenous river oaks inseparably associated with Australian trout lore and lastly the lure of trout fishing. For this little angler explains: ‘If your business in life is the making of trout flies, then you must know a good deal about trout fishing.”

First-hand knowledge is essential, and how satisfactory it must be to feel that part of your business is to step into a car, replete with all the most modern comforts for camping out, to wind through the ever lovely Blue Mountain roads (for she lives in Katoomba) until you find your- self on the banks of a trout stream. How enviable to feel that part of the day’s work includes wading out into the alluring water with rod and line, or even to lie lazily on the bank observing the insects that flit to and fro over the water. The trout is something of an epicure and varies his diet with the seasons of the year, and it is highly important to observe which fly for the moment is considered the chief delicacy in the fish salle a manger.

From her earliest childhood, before she could include the word in her vocabulary, little Elsa Garret was an entomologist. She fished along the banks with a butterfly net while her father waded out into midstream. Her little haul of butterflies, grasshoppers and moths was taken home and carefully classified and preserved for future reference. From this, a mere childish hobby, the little girl learned to observe the structure of almost every water-loving insect in New South Wales. It is from this store of knowledge that she is able to develop the making of imitations which are attracting the attention of anglers from all over the world.

Unless one knows something of the art required to fashion a trout fly it is almost impossible to appreciate the skill and delicacy of the work. For instance I had actually to take one fly in my hand to convince myself that it was not a genuine butterfly, but one constructed from fur and feather.

FINE FEATHERS FROM FINE BIRDS

Mohair, tinsel, fine shreds of rubber, feather and fur from all over the world are required in the making of fishing tackle and I am shown the ruff and crest of a jungle cock from India and the golden pheasant from China, the metallic neck feathers of the Burmese peacock, the South American blue chatterer, the Canadian wood duck and the Egyptian goose and a host of others. All of these must be imported from their particular quarter of the globe. An obvious question flies to my lips, “Why are the feathers of our own brilliant birds not used?” The answer is that for some reason they lack the durability essential to the fist-class “fly.” “And I am very thankful,” says this girl who loves all the bush creatures, “I would rather protect than slay our own native birds.”‘

Miss Garrett’s flies are put on the market under a trade name and many of her own most exacting customers do not realise that the “tying” of which they write so approvingly has been done by a girl. Indeed, one overseas firm which has bought her flies and used them as models advertises the fact that the tackle is all made by men, because they consider that a woman’s fingers are not strong enough to make a really satisfactory fly. Yet they write (addressing her as Mr. Garrett) and mention this very characteristic as distinctive of her work.

But with the genius which this artist undoubtedly possesses there is included that, “infinite capacity for taking pains,” She is her father’ s pupil, and in 1928 he won the first prize given by the president of the Rod Fishers Society of New South Wales, the late Howard Joseland. The Judge was Dr. Spiller Blandon, who is now president.

Master and pupil are now friendly rivals, and perfection is the only objective that they recognise. Such skill judgment, and faculty of true colour perception are needed that no machine can ever be constructed to rival the human mechanism, and one firm states un- hesitatingly that it takes twelve years to become an expert tyer.

But in spite of the fact that Elsa Garrett has so successfully invaded this corner of man’s domain, she cannot claim to be the first woman to do so. We all know the name of Izaak Walton, but amongst anglers the name of Dame Juliana Berners is held in equal respect. Her book, “Treatyse of Fysshinge With An Angle,” was written in 1490, and gives very good instructions in the making of these “counterfeit presentments,” or, as a contemporary writer calls them, “fraudful flies.” This fifteenth century lady was evidently a very good sport, for she gives this very ethical advice: “Ye shall not be too ravenous in takynge your sayd game as too moche at a time, to lightly destroy your own desports and the desports of other menne also.”

While on the subject of dames let me add that Elsa Garrett is a great-granddaughter of the celebrated Dame Durden, of whom the old ballad tells:

Dame Durden kept five milking maids

To carry the milking-pail,

She also kept five serving men

To use the spade and flail.

Dame Durden in the morn so soon

She did begin to call,

To rouse her servants, maids, and men,

She then began to bawl. . .

But the ballad sorely misrepresents this admirable old lady. The truth is that, finding herself a widow, with a large estate and a lazy staff of servants, who evidently thought to impose upon their mistress, she set to work to take things in a firm hand. In those days the very thought of a woman managing her own estate was enough to set the county a-talking, and evidently her equals, as well as the lazy wenches, were ready to laugh at the old lady.

Elsa Garrett is a modest young lady. Her success is swept cheerfully to one side and referred to merely as luck. She has nothing to say of the natural aptitude, the concentration, and steady perseverance which have combined to make her a success at her chosen profession.-N. Lowe.”

AN UNUSUAL OCCUPATION. (1935, March 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 17 Supplement: Women’s Supplement. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17159011

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A FINE ART

Baits For Big Trout Is

Girls’ Industry

Would you woo that most elusive of all elusive fish-the trout? Then banish from your mind all thought of worms, end such mundane enticements, and meditate appreciatively on that most perfect of all deceptions, a fly, “dry'” or “wet.”

With golden feathers plucked from the heads of pheasants from China, satiny down on the Blue Chatterer of South America, hackle won from the glory of peacocks’ tails, varicoloured plumage from the Indian jungle cock, finest silk and soft seal’s fur, a bright eyed young Australian girl, Miss Elsa Garrett, of Katoomba, is building an industry in their manufacture, says the “Sydney Sun.”

Thousands of them each year, everyone on the end of its gut cast, like a captive wild thing, pass from her studio to the trout streams.

Anglers, most expert, have pronounced them excellent for beguiling wary fish. For what trout, unless he paused to listen, would suspect a mosquito, which will do all but buzz, of harbouring a hook?

“I was 16 when I first began to tie flies,” said Miss Garrett, herself a practical angler. I was studying entomology, and I think the secret of my success is that I tried to copy nature. I employ two permanent assistants now, and three others when there is a rush.”

Figures show the growth in popularity of trout fishing, and the greater care that is being taken to spare the feelings of the trout, by fishing him as a “gentleman.” In 1931, Miss Garrett tied 1300 flies, in 1932 17,000, last year 33,000, and she has hopes of reaching 50,000 this year.

Immense pains must be taken if the really undetectable deception is to he produced. Accordingly, having critical eyes to please, Miss Garrett works “from life.”

A FINE ART. (1934, April 4). Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54757917

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“Messrs. Gordon Garrett, Charles Foster and Sid Foote, of Katoomba (N.S.W.) fishing in the Little River and the Isabella, averaged 30 trout a day. They ranged up to 12lbs, and bigger fish were seen.”

With the Anglers. (1932, November 23). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 – 1939), p. 20. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article135334844

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See also the report, WR Lowry (Blackheath) and G Garrett (Katoomba) were elected office holders.

ACCLIMATISATION SOCIETY. (1939, June 23). National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW : 1889 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved November 25, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160557705

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TROUT FISHING KATOOMBA

FLYS CATCH RECORD FISH.

Miss Elsa. Garrett, of Katoomba, has received, the very gratifying advise that three champion fish were landed on flies manufactured by her, last season. Mr. Lind, of Lithgow, caught a 5 ¼ lb. brownie. The large 7½ lb. trout caught at Burrinjuck, and also the 8 ½ lb. trout captured by Mr. Kilgour, at Tamworth (the photo, of which was recently published in the “S.M. Herald”) were all induced to accept trout flies manufactured in Katoomba.

A very fine exhibit of these products was recently shown in the Government Tourist Bureau display windows, Sydney, and attracted all city anglers. Many local anglers were to be found on the trout streams during our Eight-hour holiday week-end. Some fine catches have been reported. Ted Duff and party got among the rainbows near Porter’s Retreat, the best fish being caught by Ted — it weighed 31b. 2oz. — a beautiful rainbow.

G. Garrett and C. Foster spent the week-end on the Abercrombie River, and brought home a bag of 20 rainbows, to tickle their friends’ palates. . They caught the legal limit – — 10 fish — each day, the average Weight being 1¼ lb. — all taken on the Cocky-bond-hu pattern fly.

DUCKMALOI.

The following appeared in a recent issue of “Angling and Gun Sport,” concerning the Duckmaloi River: — Within three hours by car from Sydney will bring you to some of the finest dry fly water in New South Wales. The route takes the angler through beautiful mountain scenery provided by the Great Dividing Range, and the rainbow and brown trout in the Duckmaloi fish rivers will supply all the sport necessary to put the finishing touch to a wonderful holiday. The closeness of the grounds to Sydney makes it possible to return home and at dinner discuss the events of the trip, while enjoying the succulent dishes provided by the “bag”.

How to Get There by Car.

The best route for the motorist Is to take the Great Western Road as far as Hartley, the Jenolan Caves Road to Hampton. Shortly after leaving Hampton, the Oberon Road Is seen on the’ right, and this is followed for seven or eight miles from the Caves Road turn-off until it crosses the Duckmaloi; some four miles further on the Fish River is crossed.

Flies.

The writer, being firmly of the opinion that it is the angler, and not the fly, that succeeds, refrains from advising the use of any special fly, but reminds the visitor that any trout eats a hundred small flies to one large, and that it is easier to lay a small fly on the water, to appear natural, than it is to lay a large one. One of the early mistakes made by every person, almost without -exception/ Is the belief that the bigger the bait’ the bigger the fish.

Advice to Visitors.

Farmers on these rivers have been tormented so much of late years by trespassers, that they have been obliged to erect “no trespassing” signs. It is therefore advisable to seek permission of the owner before entering on to any land. When permission is granted, respect his property, fish by legal methods, fish always upstream, smoke the best brand of cigarettes, pay your debts and forgive the biggest fish that always has and always will get away, and there should be no reason why the creek should not be well-lined with trout on the return trip home.

Early Season.

Both rivers are well stocked with rainbow and brown trout. The coming season Is particularly encouraging, from the angler’s point of view, a6 an exceptionally early spring’ has ‘produced ,s insects a month earlier than’ Usual. The trout are up surface feeding, and’ the fish will be in fine fettle for the opening on October 1.

“TROUT FISHING” The Katoomba Daily (NSW : 1920 – 1939) 12 November 1935: 3. Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193890576

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KATOOMBA GIRL’S ENTERPRISE

DECEIVING NATURE ARTISTICALLY

500 VARIETIES OF TROUT “FLIES.”

That Katoomba should possess an artist and manufacturer of an entirely singular nature is something of which we should be justly proud. Miss Elsa Garrett, well-known Katoomba girl, who is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Garrett, of Katoomba Street, has proved herself capable of competing with nature in the manufacture of trout “flies” at her Katoomba studio.

By studying nature from an entomologist’s eyes Miss Garrett was able to derive the greatest possibilities from her industry of making trout “flies” with which to entice the elusive fish from its silvery stream. These “flies” so carefully made, are now becoming so popular that Miss Garrett is now making 33,000 a year, which will probably be greatly increased as the demand grows.

Feathers of rare birds of China, South America, India, finest silk and soft seal’s fur are imported £r this industry, for which Miss Garrett employs two permanent assistants, and three others during rush periods. The youthful artist hopes to reach the 50,000 mark this year, for the annual manufacture of the “flies,” which reveals the growth in popularity of trout fishing.

The fact that each “fly” must be made by hand illustrates the great care and attention to detail that’ must be observed in tying these very natural-looking articles, which have taken the place of the worm for enticing the trout from its secluded spots. A visit to the trout “fly” studio in Katoomba Street will reveal a very colourful scene. A profusion of multi-coloured feathers, silk down, and scraps of every kind: -an. woven together by artistic fingers, to build up no less than 500 varieties – of ants, flies, mosquitos. dragon flies or crickets, which have been proved the perfect imitation of the original insect; and the poor old trout responds whole-heartedly to the deception.

Although this Katoomba girl has provided one of the most useful and popular articles by her enterprise and study, there are plenty of difficulties to be overcome — as in most beneficial industries. Customs duties have been a worry from the outset because the materials must be imported from the four corners of the globe.

It is a remarkable thing that some business houses are still biased in favour of English “flies,” although the Australian “fly” is more durable and more brilliant — and it is this prejudice that Miss Garrett finds is the greatest difficulty. But she is sure that there is a great future before the manufacture oi trout “flies,” and she has made others suitable for the salmon of New Zealand, although there again, duties constitute a difficulty.

It is an industry, too, in which she has no fear of machinery. Every “fly” must be arranged by hands, and produced with a care that is loving. We anticipate the time when Katoomba will he the centre of attraction for anglers, who have tested the “flies” manufactured in Katoomba — and when there will he trout streams in the district for the furtherance of local industry.

*****

 

It is the worm’s turn to laugh, now that Miss Elsa Garrett, of Katoomba Street, has turned the attention of the trout fishing world to the fact that this elusive and much sought fish responds more readily to the enticements of the “fly” rather than the mundane worm. Miss Garrett has decided (and she is herself a practical angler) that the trout must be fished as a “gentleman.” She therefore pursued all possible study of entomology which enables her to copy nature in its insect form, for her profession of manufacturing trout “flies.” The 500 varieties which Miss Garrett manufactures at Katoomba have proved more than popular with anglers. “For what trout, unless he paused to listen, would suspect a mosquito or fly which will do all but buzz, of harbouring a hook,” states the “Sun” in complimenting this youthful manufacturer on her enterprise. ‘

TROUT FISHING

ENTHUSIASM

BLUE MOUNTAIN ROD FISHERS’ SOCIETY

Sports may come and go, but angling has throughout the centuries held a fascination, an irresistible appeal, to every class of manhood. The meeting of the Blue Mountain Rod Fishers’ held at the Katoomba School of Arts on Tuesday’ last, was evidence that the dormant flame only needs slight fanning for it to burst, forth into active enthusiasm. Especially is this so with the devotees of the ancient sport of beguiling the wily trout. About thirty members attended the meeting and it was observed that all classes were well represented, which only proves that the greeting, “What Luck?” is a password with the brotherhood throughout the world. The chairman, Mr. E. Gordon Garrett, opened the meeting with an address, which outlined the formation of the Society at Black-heath, and the purchase and liberation of 140 cans of brown trout in the Mountain streams during the past few weeks.

The activities of the Society up to date were also detailed for the benefit of the new members present, so that they would be conversant with the objects of the Society. Casting instruction had been given, rules formulated, and general angling lore pertaining to trout fishing had been imparted to help initiate the tyro. General business included : Affiliation with the Rod Fishers’ Society of N.S.W. Arrangements for com petitions. £1/1/- will be given from the funds for the best fish caught during the season on an artificial fly. Other prizes will also be donated, and arrangements for a fishing excursion to the Duckmaloi River are in the capable hands of Mr. Lane, of Blackheath, and will leave Blackheath on Saturday, Oct. 6, and return on the following day. Anglers wishing to join the party should give Mr. Lane a ring on the ‘ ‘phone. Dr. Blessing addressed the meeting and stressed the necessity for members to observe one of the principal commandments of an angler: that is to be careful of fires, and at all times to respect the property of the owner who permits you to fish on his streams.

At the conclusion of the general business, Miss Elsa Garrett gave an interesting lecture on trout fishing tackle. The manufacture of silkworm gut for casts, casting lines, reels and rods was fully explained; also the main features that increased their respective efficiency. An imposing display of tackle and rods had been gathered by Miss Garrett from local anglers. The rods ranged from the humble machine-made split cane valued at a couple of pounds, to the hand-made aristocrat of the rod family which would cost, at the present time, in the vicinity of thirty pounds. In conclusion, the young lecturer dealt tersely with that “Stealthy deceiver who lures the poor little trout to his net,” i.e., “the Nut at the end of the rod,” whose principal aim should be to uphold with grace the title of an angler and a sport.” Dr. A. Allan proposed a vote of thanks to Miss Elsa Garrett for her very . interesting, instructive and amusing lecture, which was carried with acclamation. The next meeting will be held at Blackheath in October, and those wishing to join up should give their names in to Mr Rowan Lowry, secretary, “Dundee,” Blackheath.

“TROUT FISHING ENTHUSIASM” The Katoomba Daily (NSW : 1920 – 1939) 29 September 1934: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193895426

B.M. ROD FISHERS’ SOCIETY

The general meeting of the Blue Mountain Rod Fishers’ Society, held at the School of Arts  last Thursday, was very well attended, about thirty anglers, from all centres of the Mountains, being present. Several new members were enrolled. After formal business was dispensed with, the president (Mr. E. Gordon Garrett) introduced Mr. A. J. Frazer, of the Inland Fisheries Department, who. gave a most interesting address on trout acclimatisation. Mr. Frazer, during the day, visited the Cox, Grose, and other streams in which the trout fry were recently liberated, and reported very favourably on the excellent prospects of stocking mountain streams with brown trout.

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AN EXCELLENT ATTRACTION FOR TOURISTS.

Mr. Frazer outlined the acclimatisation methods that it was hoped -to adopt in the future. This scheme included the establishment of many hatcheries throughout the State, in which the trout would be reared to the yearling stage before liberation, instead of the present, method of placing the young fry in the streams a few weeks after they are hatched. These hatcheries, and, the appointment of district rangers to patrol the trout streams, will vastly improve fishing, conditions, and thereby attract a percentage of overseas visitors who annually visit New Zealand, Tasmania, and Victoria expressly for the trout fishing. New South Wales has been very lax in realising the importance, of providing attraction for the touring sportsmen from the overcrowded areas of England, America and the Continent. Trout fishing undoubtedly has the greatest appeal for these sportsmen, and the Blue Mountain streams are ideal for trout culture.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENT APATHY.

Some years ago, efforts were made to acclimatise trout in Katoomba streams, by a couple of .local enthusiasts, but no assistance would be given by the Municipal Council, even for transport from the rail to the stream, of trout fry that was provided free. Private individuals, however, managed to liberate a few, and Minna-Ha-Ha Creek has attracted hundreds of anglers, in the hope of landing a speckled beauty; but experience has shown that the rainbow trout supplied by the Fisheries Department were not suitable for these waters; they certainly survived, and their progeny are there to-day; but had brown trout fry been liberated, there is little doubt that splendid fishing would be obtainable.

This year, mainly by the efforts of Mr. Rowan Lowry, of Blackheath, sufficient funds were raised to enable the purchase and liberation of 55,000 brown trout fry. Blackheath -Municipal Council contributed funds and assisted, in /transport of” the” fry to the streams. Other Mountain Local Government bodies assisted financially; but the greatest share of the cost, and all the’ labour, was left to the enthusiastic anglers, who have formed the Rod Fishing Society, and who realise that someday the Blue Mountains will attract thousands of visitors for trout fishing. The next meeting of the society will be held at Blackheath, sometime in January, and Miss Elsa Garrett will give a lecture on the insects that form the principle food for trout, and display specimens of insects that inhabit the Blue Mountain trout streams. It is also hoped that Mr. T. C. Roughley, zoologist from the Sydney Museum, will give a lecture

“B.M. ROD FISHERS’ SOCIETY” The Katoomba Daily (NSW : 1920 – 1939) 4 January 1935: 4. Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article193879967

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Orange Blossoms

A quiet and private wedding was solemnised on Saturday morning last at the Katoomba Presbyterian Church by Rev. Robert Millar between Elsa Garrett, talented daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Garrett of Katoomba, and Rowan Lowry of the R.A.A.F. Mrs. Lowry is widely known for her artistry in the making of trout flies, whilst her husband has been attached to the Main Roads Board as an engineer draughtsman. It is fitting that the happy couple should have selected for their honeymoon a tour of the southern trout streams.

Orange Blossoms (1942, April 24). The Blue Mountains Advertiser (Katoomba, NSW : 1940 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189911028

Elsa also published prose and descriptive writing pieces

WINGS OF THE MORNING

The last day of the year was fast departing forever. Away into the foothills stretched a vast expanse of sunset waters, flaming redly against the darkening hills, then gradually the velvet feet of darkness came softly creeping, the light faded. and over the deep, shadowed waters spread a mystic veil of purple shadows. Wind played on magic pipes through the tossing boughs of the trees, then fled with soft footsteps up the hill, to play with the shadows. The lonely night slumbered on, in the silvery starlight till midnight struck, and the old year passed away forever into the temple of time, leaving only memories behind it. A new year, came over the hills triumphantly, on the wings of the morning. Thoughts and dreams float out on shining wings to a future of golden promise and dawning hopes. — ELSA GARRETT.

“WINGS OF THE MORNING” Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1930) 13 February 1927: 2 (PRANKS THE CHILDREN’S NEWSPAPER). Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128523890 .

 

Other published prose, descriptive writing:

“DAWN OF ENDEAVOR” The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 – 1954) 19 April 1931: 39. Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224703036

“CALL OF THE WILD” The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 – 1954) 9 August 1931: 3 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE SUNBEAMS). Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224723047

“The Pride of a Nation” The Blue Mountains Times (Katoomba, NSW : 1931 – 1937) 24 March 1932: 4. Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194855975

“Gold, the Seducer” The Blue Mountains Times (Katoomba, NSW : 1931 – 1937) 30 October 1931: 3. Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194855714

“JUNIOR PRANKS’ PLAYGROUND” Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 – 1930) 14 November 1926: 3 (PRANKS The Children’s Newspaper). Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128120979

“YE WHO PASS.” The Blue Mountains Times (Katoomba, NSW : 1931 – 1937) 20 November 1931: 4. Web. 13 Sep 2017 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194856548

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John Merriman

Local Studies Librarian

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