John Alden Knight
John Alden Knight (1890-1966) was a banker, syndicated writer, fly-tier, hunter, naturalist, casting expert, angling filmmaker and developer of the Solunar Tables.
“Jack” Knight as he was known by his friends, helped popularize a simple yellow & red bucktail streamer (a.k.a. “The Assassin”) which he redubbed the “Mickey Finn” because of its ability to knock-out brookies and rainbow trout. Knight was friends with Hewitt, Jennings, LaBranche and Alfred “Sparse Gray Hackle” Miller, spending much time developing his fly fishing & fly tying expertise on the Beaverkill, Neversink, Esopus and Brodhead River with these noted gentlemen. His love for hunting and the natural world held him to be an early proponent of catch & release: “one nice thing about fishing – you can always put ’em back.”
His greatest legacy was methodically codifying the rhythmic effects of the sun and moon phases on fish (and game) into peaks and troughs by longitude and latitude in his Solunar Tables developed in 1926 and published in 1936 to immediate acclaim (and some scoffing). In addition to several noted hunting books, he is also remembered for his books The Theory and Technique of Fresh Water Angling, The Complete Book of Fly Casting and Modern Fly Casting.