Fly Entomology by Frederic M. Halford, published in London in 1897,
was the inspiration for Gaylord Schanilec's Mayflies of the Driftless
Region. Halford, the Victorian innovator and popularizer of modern
fly-fishing, scientifically described and surveyed the principal British
mayflies of his time, but he did not claim his work as a comprehensive entomological
treatise. Instead, Dry Fly Entomology was aimed at providing anglers with
a basic, working understanding of the nature of aquatic insects. Mayflies
of the Driftless Region can make no such claim; it is not a field guide.
Instead, it is a study of mayflies by an artist.
"I began this project with little practical knowledge of mayfly entomology.
It was not the information in Halford’s Dry Fly
Entomology that caught my attention, but rather the detailed wood engravings that illustrated
it. While Mayflies of the Driftless Region may provide useful information
for fishermen and women of similar naïveté, the essence of the
book is art. I have created 13 depictions of mayflies, color wood engravings
with each hue printed from a separate block of end-grain maple. These images
are the result of careful microscopic study of specimens collected from streams
near my home in rural Wisconsin."
Entomologist Clarke Garry, professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-River
Falls, has written text to accompany each of the images. Professor Garry documents
the series of taxonomic steps involved in the formal scientific identification
of each of the specimens. Also included are some of his notes that help to
demonstrate his working method. In the context of a scientific journal, these
identifications would likely be dry and difficult reading for most of us. However,
in the pages of a finely printed book, the poetic nature of the language can
be appreciated. The text for Mayflies of the Driftless Region was hand-set
in Bembo Monotype and printed on Zerkall mould-made paper imported from Germany.
A limited edition
of 300 copies was bound in quarter leather by Gregor Campbell with paper
made by hand for the edition by Mary Hark. The limited edition is issued
in a slipcase. A special edition of 50 copies was bound in full calf skin
by Jill Jevne, and contained in a custom enclosure, designed by her, and
incorporating a selection of flies hand-tied for the edition by David Lucca.
The images in this edition were printed on Gampi Torinoko, a delicate hand-made
paper produced in Japan. The special edition also includes a separate leather-hinged
portfolio containing an extra set of prints and progressive proofs of one
image. 50 copies of the book remain in sheets for custom binding.
A less expensive
trade edition is now avaliable. It is printed on a
commercial Monadnock paper, in an edition of 1,000 copies. All of the
type is printed from the original hand set metal. Whereas in the limited
edition the type is printed in a variety of colors, here it is all black, with
the exception of the title page. The images are printed from the original
blocks. The format of the book is smaller than the limited edition,
measuring approximately 6 inches by 9 inches. It is bound in full cloth
and comes with a dust jacket.
Mayflies of the Driftless
Region is available at The Shop @ MCBA. For more information, please contact
the shop manager at 612.215.2520 or email