Kingsmill Moore A Man May Fish

Theodore Kingsmill Moore - A Man May Fish

Herbert Jenkins 1960

Written in 1960, but with the quality of the great thirties literature, A Man May Fish has a character all of its own and has to be one of the best books about fishing ever written. This is probably a reflection of the character of the author, an extraordinary man who among many other achievements served as a judge in Irish Supreme Court and who only died a few years ago.

Kingsmill Moore was a skilled fisherman who had a lifetime's experience of angling for brown trout, sea-trout and salmon in Donegal to draw on. He was the subject of a enough tales to write another book, but my favourite was a comment made by an old man in the West of Ireland, who remarked in Gaelic to his gillie, 'There goes the last of the ould lot and he's sticking it out well.'

The book begins with the statement: 'It may have been fortunate that fishing was not made too easy.' It ends with a frustrating hint at all the other stories he could have told - '... of the magician of Fermoyle (though that was only one of Jamesie's tales); of the house abandoned when the roof was ready because it had been built across a fairy pass; of the lad who described to me how, as a boy, he had been taken away by the fairies and returned by them because he would not eat or drink, none the worse save that he was deaf and dumb for a fortnight - indeed rather the better for the fairies had given him the whisper and the touch for a sick cow; of the fears and hauntings of that wild upland, and the great grey boulders that play grandmother's steps with you as the night closes in.' In between it is solid gold.