Peter Lapsley - River Fly-fishing: The Complete Guide

Robert Hale £20.00
ISBN 0 7090 71221

If Peter Lapsley did not exist, it would probably be necessary to make him, because of all our angling writers, he is the one who has best mastered the art of keeping things simple. I remember reading books on fly fishing as a kid and wondering how on earth people managed to catch trout at all, because it seemed to require a knowledge of all of entomology, expertise in a dozen different casting methods and the senses of a cat. In the end I gave up reading anything at all, until Peter’s Trout from Stillwaters came out, but that was in 1981. If I have any criticism to make of Peter, it is that he has waited twenty-two years to produce a companion book on river fly fishing, but the wait has definitely been worth it.

River Fly-fishing is nothing less than a complete beginner’s guide to its subject and if anything has been left out, I haven’t discovered it. The work is full of common sense advice and the best thing about it is that it doesn’t leave the reader with the feeling that it is necessary to buy and thousand quid’s worth of kit and join the Houghton Club in order to have fun. One peculiarity of the book is that although Peter promotes all methods from dry fly to across and down wet, there is very little on the latter method; though it is the very one most beginners find the easiest. Very definitely recommended - some measure of its success can be gained from the fact that the first edition was printed in 2003 and the book was still in print in 2011.