Having finished reading this, I thought it fitting, after enjoying it so much, to do a little review.
“A Melody of Piscatorial Prose”, sounds lovely doesn’t it, and it really is. The line-up of contributors screamed class, chapters from well know angling lyricists which could only mean one thing, that a veritable masterpiece was on its way, and it couldn’t come soon enough. I had made so many images in my mind, there was so much optimism and I was thrilled when it finally dropped through the letterbox. Upon opening the large brown envelope I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
A quick thumb through revealed a beautifully presented publication, I Just couldn’t wait to get my teeth into it, but didn’t want to be too hasty. I wanted this ride to go the distance, so a chapter a night before bed was my ration, to put the magazine down, turn out the light, close my eyes and to dream of the magical places the authors had taken me to with their marvellous words.
The lack of adverts alone will be rather appealing to most folk, after a page of credits and thanks the Editor has his say and welcomes the reader to his humble offering. The chapter list flows nicely into a delightful introductory paragraph for each contributor, a lovely touch and very fitting of the gentlefolk on show.
Well known versifier, Tom Fort, treats the reader to a tour of his tackle-box and his most treasured items of tackle, and then goes on to talk of his superb collection of angling related books. The magnificent Chris Yates needs no introduction at all; his chapter surrounds the fascination of crucian fishing, of bubbles, impossible bites and countless rudd.
Dominic Garret’s feature details a visit to New York, where the fishing, although downright weird, sounds like something I just have to experience before I go to fish that great lake in the sky. Garrett Fallon, the brains behind this publication, talks big water pike in his first of two pieces, and Peter Scott who isn’t an angler at all sums up anglers to a tee with his genius theory of why we do it.
Theo Pike writes about that beautiful Hampshire chalkstream, the little river Meon, not far from where I live, and describes the colourful history behind the Old Mill at Wickham. Kevin Parr, author of The Idle Angler, tells of favourite swims, swims in his mind, swims often overlooked and swims that hold monsters.
Jeff Hatt opens a can of worms and speaks about his frustrations with mediocre perch, wondering why fish of under a pound are common place when others around him are catching dream fish. The Grand Bridge at Blenheim Palace is the scene of the story, and I have promised myself a visit there myself one of these winters after reading his terrific piece.
There are chapters about trout, chapters about barbel, even a chapter about squid. I could go on all night about how splendid a read this is, but I fear I might spoil it a touch for those yet to receive theirs. I’ll leave the rest of the chapters for you to explore as I did, not knowing what was coming next, but thoroughly enjoying every last word.