Laurence Catlow - Once a Flyfisher

Merlin Unwin Books £17.99
ISBN 1873674481

Laurence Catlow will be familiar to anyone who reads Trout & Salmon as one of the literary bright spots of the magazine. His first book, Confessions of a Shooting Fishing Man was well received and has stuck in my memory as an oddball shooting diary, written by someone who clearly has deep religious convictions. In Once a Flyfisher Laurence turns his attention from shooting to fishing and once again we are party to his inner thoughts as he wades the rivers of Yorkshire, Cumbria, Shropshire and Scotland.

I never fail to be impressed by people who keep diaries. I have made various attempts at it, but they always fail shortly after about the second entry, so I read Once a Flyfisher with a kind of awed respect. Imagine keeping a diary for a whole year? Imagine worrying about what kind of wine you are going to eat your trout with? If I have one tip for Laurence, which is that if you keep a selection of whites in a fridge near the stairs to the cellar, you won’t ever fall down them in the dark when the bulb goes ping, but I digress. Once a Flyfisher is a diverting read about trout, flies, wine, books and religion. The mix is unstable at times, but if you enjoyed Confessions, you should probably read this one too.