Enthusiasm for angling authors

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:43 18 June 2010

Two new angling books have come my way recently, one from local author and publisher Tom O Reilly, the other given to me as a gift by my good friend Mick Canning, writes Mike Winter.

Two new angling books have come my way recently, one from 'local' author and publisher Tom O'Reilly, the other given to me as a gift by my good friend Mick Canning.

Tom's book, Silver Spirit, tells of fishing for trout, sea trout and salmon on South West waters and may well be of interest, and use, to those anglers who do the same.

The book is published by Tom's own Little Egret Press at St Germans, Cornwall, PL12 5LH. It is a limited edition of 500 copies, selling at £23.95, of which 15 are leather-bound at £165.

In it Tom tells of his fishing experiences for salmon on the R Exe, for sea trout on the R Fowey, R Tavy, R Walkam and R Plym, of night fishing for sea trout on moorland rivers, for brown trout on moorland streams and grayling fishing on the Tamar, stillwater brown and rainbow trout fishing at Bake lakes, Kennick Reservoir and the Tavistock trout fishery.

There is also mention of fly patterns, fly tying and of methods and tackle. Avid local fly fishers are sure to find something of interest and use amongst its pages.

The second book A Dream of Jewelled Fishes, given to me by my good friend Mick Canning, is a super read. Written by John Aston and published by Aurum, London, it is available from good bookshops for £14.99. My good friend Chris Yates describes it as a "special book".

John Aston, the author, is a lawyer and says in his foreword that 'I only had one defining principle in writing this book - to describe how it felt to be an angler!'

That he does exceptionally well. He brings to life his 40 years of angling - not how he's done it - but what it felt like to do it and why he did it.

Non-anglers should read this book too, because they will discover, at last, a fisherman who is intelligent enough, and writes well enough, to explain, convincingly, why otherwise sane citizens become obsessed by fishing.

Anglers who have fished for a variety of species over a long period will, I'm sure, like me, find many parallels between their fishing and that of John Aston. And, if they don't really understand why they go fishing, this book will help them find the answer.

I've read my copy from cover to cover at least four times now and each time I find something new and fascinating!

I shall have to find a place for it amongst my 'library' of fishing books. In fact, I think I shall have to buy another bookcase or put up more shelves in my fishing room!

The only other alternative is to sell some of my angling books or reduce the number of my bird and insect recognition books. But that would defeat the purpose of having them.

It is only through the latter that I am able to confirm that I had seen a rare Montagues Harrier and identify a rare dragonfly that visited my garden pond.

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