F L Y F I S  H I N G     H I S T O R Y   - MEDIEVAL  FISHERMAN OF  JERMA
   
  
   Flyfishing History
   
   
Articles

   Rivers

   Flyfishing Entomology
 
   Sign on The Water

   Imitations

   Flyfishing Workshops

  
Commercial page

   Links
  
 
   Home
 


        

               River Astræus      Medieval Fisherman of Jerma      Saint Zeno from Verona

                                          History of hook making

          

          Confined in lush vegetation, on a small plain near the river Jerma, close to the Vlaska Mountain the Monastery of St. John the Divine is standing. It was built in XIV century and was one of the oldest centers of Christian spirituality on the Balkans. It was home to many generations of monks who kept their Orthodox Christian faith even in the hardest of circumstances. It was flooded several times, but their frescoes remained and one small detail is particularly interesting there.

       
    
Very unusual for a scene in frescoes, painted in a very strictly defined fashion, on one of them there is a picture of a fisherman, sitting with a small creel on the river bank, and fishing. The medieval artist painted with great precision the whole small world of a river and its bottom life: fish, crayfish, shells and insect larvae. All that would not be so unusual if only the river on the picture was not the Jordan, and the main scene was not the baptism of Jesus Christ. Facing such facts, you don’t need to be a fisherman to ask yourself some questions.

          Monastery of St. John the Divine (XIV century)

     

          Did the artist, by putting the ordinary life detail into a key biblical scene, wanted to pass on the important message of Christianity which was lost during its twenty centuries of existence…

 

        Was maybe the artist himself a fisherman, and in this way he left the signature on his artwork ….

 

        Or he just painted the scene which he was able to see frequently on the banks of the nearby Jerma.

          

 

 

The photograph of the original fresco in the Monastery of St. John the Divine

 

 

          Lacking firmer evidence we can only follow the logic that the medieval fresco painters from the Ioannina area of Greece, which is close to Emathia, the area which Aelian described as the place where fly fishing was first observed and described – painted the scenes brought in memory from their birthplace, which they also observed on the banks of the Jerma. The part of the fresco with the scene of fisherman on the Jordan (or Jerma) is presently renovated. We do hope that it will soon look as nice as it did through centuries and that it would continue to inspire thoughts about generations of fishermen who enjoyed with their rods in hands long before our times.


                                                                                                                           

 

                                                                 Drawing of Jesus Christ baptism scene