SI Vault
December 04, 1961
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December 04, 1961


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Ted Simmonds, 12, is goalkeeper for Nottinghamshire's Worksop Sea Cadets' soccer team, and his performance to date has made headlines in England. Ted, 58 inches tall, has let in 204 goals in eight games (scores: 25-1, 33-0, 28-0, 34-0, 34-0, 11-3, 25-1 and 14-0). One famous pro manager was moved to remark, with typical British reserve: "There's something obviously wrong with the team's defense." But Ted is not giving up. "We'll carry on," he said. "And I'll try to move about a bit more."


For years the matadors of Spain and Mexico have been stabbing each other, on some occasions more effectively than either could stab the bulls. Several times conventions have been signed providing for an exchange of performers. In every case something occurred—perhaps only the great success of an "enemy" national—to break the pact of the moment.

The last one was broken in 1957, and neither Mexicans nor visitors to Mexico have seen a Spanish matador since. This has been sad for the North American afici�n, since the best matadors currently are Spanish. Now there is good news. A new pact was signed in Madrid last week. This winter the Norte Americano visitor will see Antonio Ord��ez, Luis Miguel Domingu�n and other great Spaniards. Nor is that all. The highly informed aficionados of Mexico will at last be able to leave the Tupinamba and Taquito caf�s and with their own eyes decide how to vote in the tauromachy election of the decade: yes or no, is Antonio a torero de �poca and the n�mero uno of the world?


It is a long cast from the placid, slow chalk streams of England to the swift and often turbulent trout waters of America, and the arts of fishing them with a dry fly are quite as far apart. It has been fewer than 50 years, some of us were surprised to be reminded recently, since the Second American Revolution further separated the colonies from the mother country, a revolution fathered by a boy-size man named George Michel Lucien LaBranche.

Oddly enough, a European import, the brown trout, inspired LaBranche's development of the American style of dry-fly fishing. More discriminating than the native brook trout, the brown presented problems the American angler did not know enough to solve until, in 1914, LaBranche enlightened him in his classic, The Dry Fly and Fast Water. British emphasis on precise imitation of the natural insect, even to the shape of its eyes, was turned by LaBranche into emphasis on precise presentation of the fly.

"He was a superb tournament caster, in both distance and accuracy," his old friend Sparse Grey Hackle recalled last week, "and he was eligible for 'the charmed circle,' an old expression for those who could cast 100 feet with straight fishing tackle, but it was his stream casting that especially distinguished him. His 'tipwork,' by which he insinuated his fly through, around and under branches and stream obstructions, was beautiful to watch.

"LaBranche developed the art of 'reading the stream' so that American anglers would know just by looking at the water where a trout was likely to lie, instead of waiting for a rise and casting to it, as the British do. If there was no hatch he made his own, casting as many as 50 times to where he knew a trout waited."

Along with LaBranche, America produced such giants as Ed Hewitt and Theodore Gordon, fellow students of the trout. They are all gone now, and so is George LaBranche, who died November 18 at 86, his sporting will long since probated on the dancing surfaces of a thousand American streams.

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