Trout Hunting - the pursuit of happiness, by Bob Wyatt
reviewed by Paul
Ronan and I met “Hurricane Bob” near the backend of last season for a BBQ. Although we arrived promptly and with beer, Bob had somehow managed to give out at least three different dates and consequently the weekend arrangements were broadly staggered. Bumcast, who was also invited, managed to arrive on the same day as us but left slightly before our arrival, unsure as to whether we were invited to attend that day or the following one – as were we. Various other BBQ enthusiasts had arrived the previous day and several others were lost in the bush.
Nothing more than we're used to of course, and that's because we're flyfishers and live for this shit.
Bob, Ronan and I ate, drank, discussed three-fly teams, “selectivity”, the Invicta (Bob called me a Romantic at this point) and the next day we fished Mystery River X – one which involved both a high-speed cross-country chase as well as getting lost at least twice. All in all, it was a good weekend.
I don't read many flyfishing books. Instead I ask Sean, Lars or Ben to read and review them. This is of course why Sexyloops' reviews take longer to write than the books do themselves. We're very thorough.
I read Bob's book in a Florida swamp and have been putting it into practice these last eight months – see? There is groundbreaking material contained within its pages. For one thing Bob completely smashes commonly held theories on trout selectivity. And I believe he is right.
I discussed Trout Hunting with Sean recently. Sean made the point that Trout Hunting is really two books. Sean writes and has edited for a living and so has that kind of mind.
There is the first and most important section as to why trout respond in the way they do and then there is the story telling section – which as well all know, in the UK at least, is something at which Bob is quite excellent. Bob writes well and while the stories will certainly appeal to a wide readership, it is the trout chapters that interest me the most.
Something I personally enjoy in Trout Hunting is the use of “Zen Master” quotes at the opening of each chapter. I'm quite sure that all good Zen Masters would use the Invicta; it's that kind of fly.
Fishing, and fly fishing for trout in particular, requires that the angler understands why the quarry behaves in the way it does. Trout Hunting makes an enormous inroad into this understanding and I know that I am a better, wiser, less romantic, hard-nosed flyfisher because of it.
So thank you, Bob.
Interestingly perhaps, I think what Bob has done most for this particular reader is refined his approach to flytying. While I don't use identical flies to Bob (no shit), his writing has had its effect. I feel that I've jumped three steps up the ladder.
If I were to compile a list of ten books one should read on flyfishing, this would be one of those ten. There is a key to the flyfishing jigsaw contained within these pages – one that you won't find anywhere else.
You'd be crazy not to find a swamp of your own where you can read it. Tie an Invicta for me.
PS Magnum thinks the pictures could be better.
For more reviews and to find out how to purchase Trout Hunting visit Bob's website.