For many years the stays for the fender at the front wheel of my every day bicycle were mounted directly at the fork without any clip. The problem: If any debris gets between the fender and the tire or into the spokes, this can lead to severe accidents when the fender is pulled up and the stays don’t release.
Also see: article in “Tour” 12/1995 (German).
Therefore I decided to change that before I will experience this kind of problem on my own (ouch!).
A solution is also known for a long time: “Secu-Clip” by SKS. This is a special fixation made of plastic which gets mounted to the fork and in which you then insert the lugs of the fender stays. Some fenders by SKS are equipped with these clips as standard. But you can purchase them separately as well, for example at BIKE-COMPONENTS.DE. The final result looks like on the following picture:
The stays usually have to be shortend a bit which is no big deal when using a bolt cutter. The original screws with a length of about 10 mm were too short and had to be replaced with longer ones as well.
The advantage of “Secu-Clip” to the integrated plastic clips which SKS uses for some fenders regularly (for example “Bluemels”): This kind of fixation is much more solid and the fender does not wiggle so much.