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Ronan's report

Saturday December 1st 2012

A good friend, Martin, who is actually responsible for getting me back into fishing in the early 1990ies, gave me the wonderful book you see in today's PoD - "The Natural Trout Fly and its Imitation by Leonard West". I remember looking through this book at his place several times, always deeply fascinated with the color plates of flies and feathers.

Even though published in 1912, it's still a great book that you can learn from. Here's an important lesson for the winter months ahead of us on the Northern Hemisphere: "Many fly-dressers even when they go to Nature for their models, still fail to appreciate the point from which the fishes view the natural fly, and also the conditions under which they see it, this being especially the care with the makers of dry flies."

Simple, hands-on, both feet on the ground wisdom that everyone should stop and think about when tying flies, I think.

The book is worn, slightly water damaged with moist marks on most pages and not far from breaking in its binding, but I don't care. It's a special gift that I am sincerely grateful for.

Considering its condition, I'll read it once and then put it in the shelf together with there old classics like Edmonds & Lee, T. E. Pritt, Pryce-Tannat and others in my little flyfishing library.

Speaking of old books it can't come as a surprise to many (considering that I am in real life a professional, medieval archaeologist) that I am quite fond of old book and the history of flyfishing. And to that end, I recently (OK, maybe a year ago) bought a book by Andrew Herd: "The History of Fly Fishing", published in 2011 by Medlar Press. Reading about the history of fly fishing, I've often been frustrated by the lack on notes/referecnes and a proper list of sources, which is something that I am totally accustomed to in my own articles on history and archaeology that I publish through my work. Andrew Herd's book is full of both, and I really look forward to sitting down per Christmas and reading it, back to back. It's a beautiful book, printed on high quality paper, with lots of pictures and illustrations, so if you're after the perfect Christmas present for yourself, this is (one of) my recommendation(s).

I already ordered my present from my family - No. 666, which should arrive soon (Paul?! :-).

Have a great weekend!


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