Lesley Crawford - The Trout Fishers Handbook

Swan Hill Press £16.95
ISBN 1-904057-02-0

I am always vaguely surprised that Lesley hasn't published more than four books, because she strikes me as being of the most sensible angling writers around. You don't find her promoting the latest wonder fly, she has a knack for demystifying trout fishing and her words flow like her casting. So when a fifth book appears from the Crawford pen, it is time to sit up and take notice.

The handbook is a beginner's guide to wild river and loch trout fishing and it is a solid work, backed up by four decades of angling experience. I remember my first attempts at loch fishing - mostly spent untangling droppers - and I wish that something like this book had been available then. Advice came at me from all sides until I became convinced that you needed a PhD level education in the subject to have any hope of catching anything at all. If I had to recommend one book on fishing for trout in Scotland (or anywhere, because fish are fish), this is it. The author doesn't talk down to the reader, doesn't make any attempts to baffle with pseudo-science and tells you what you need to know in as much space as it takes to tell it and no more.