Monday, 29 August 2011
Milestones & Millstones
This week has marked a very welcome first for me. Magazine articles are great, they are my bread and butter. But to submit my first book manuscript is something special. "Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish" has been a real labour of love- hundreds of miles, many fish and many waters. Flies that look a million dollars and flies that ended up in the bin beneath my work bench. And so it was a real thrill, not to mention something of a relief, to visit the good folks at Merlin Unwin in Ludlow with a first draft and two hundred or so images. It's a real honour to be working with the publishers whose other output includes the work of Chris Yates and "BB".
As well as work, I had time for some play on the river slap bang in the middle of Ludlow. A very pretty bit of water, with huge overlapping sheets of stone and trout lurking in the shadows. Several vividly marked brownies dashed out to grasp a little nymph:
As for the book itself, set for release early next year, I can only hope that readers will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the adventure of writing it. Some of the escapades in its pages will strike a chord with those who keep an eye on the blog and magazine work- but there are also plenty of surprises I've done my best to keep back, including a whole string of original and adapted flies for rudd, pike, carp, zander... you name it, I've been feverishly experimenting with it. Some of the coarse species are more willing takers than others it must be said, but I'm relieved to have ticked all the required boxes. There have been times that the tench, for example, have had me wracking my brains for answers. Here's a hard won tinca from the Grand Western Canal:
Perhaps I haven't always taken the conventional route with my fishing and writing. But the reassuring development so far has been that many editors and readers are more than willing to give something different a try. There is so much more to fishing than the technique of beating those around you, or becoming obsessed with huge fish. And on that note, this week's Angling Times will feature a place low on the list of most specimen hunters- but close to my heart. The little millstream on the Exe is the setting for my piece on escapist fishing for dace and chub, a case of stony water and cute fish. Talking of cute fish, I've also been revamping my site and online shop, including these beautifully detailed Finnish fish. You'll also find a lunking great pike on the site, big enough to eat this lot!