“Surface Nymphing. - In the writer’s opinion this is the most deadly of all the available methods of nymphing, and it is believed to be entirely new, for the discovery was made some years ago when angling on the Tweed. Sport had been disappointing, and by lunch time few fish had found their way into the net. On resuming trout appeared to be taking freely, as surface indications showed, but dry-fly after dry-fly proved unavailing. Finally, in desperation, a small dotterel spider was knotted onto the cast as a dropper, about 24 inches above the dry-fly. Still no offer resulted, but after a few casts the dry-fly was observed to hesitate for an instant before resuming its placid course with the current, although no interference with the line could be detected by touch. This occurred several times, and the resolve was made to strike immediately the phenomenon was next observed. This was carried out and a good trout made the water boil as the iron went home, the surprise being that the fish was hooked, not on the dry-fly but on the wet ‘spider’. The fish had been sucking quietly at the ‘spider’ just below the surface, and in this way nine good fish were safely creeled - a fair performance under conditions which baffled several other anglers on the water at the time. After due consideration the conclusion was arrived at that the trout had been feeding on nymphs, and consequently had refused to consider either the dry-fly on the one hand or a well sunk wet-fly on the other, but that the dotterel ‘spider’ had been accepted as a nymph either endeavouring to penetrate the surface, or lying inert just below.” Border River Angling’ pub, 1939.
In the same book Lawrie introduced a new type of dry fly, with the hackles in two halves. The top hackle, the wing, had the bottom fibres cut away and the bottom hackle, the legs, had the top fibres cut away.