Fly Fishing for Sailfish

John Reynolds - Fly Fishing for Sailfish

Coch-y-bonddu Books
ISBN 0 9528510 2 4

My first impression of Fly Fishing for Sailfish was that someone had left out the half the pages; this paperback covers its subject in a mere 80 pages, but as a no-nonsense primer on sailfish it is very hard to beat. Don’t expect to read lyrical descriptions of places or people or fights with these beautiful fish. What you get is a concise manual on locations, gear and tactics written by someone who has learnt to catch billfish the hard way.

What you don’t get are luscious full colour illustrations; this is a book to throw in your luggage and to read when you are lying in your bunk wondering why the big one trashed you. And get away they can: sailfish have been clocked at 68 m.p.h., spinning a reel at a knuckle-breaking thousand r.p.m. Three or four hundred yards of backing is a good idea, on a big reel attached to a 9 foot 13 weight rod. Even then, the fish get to win sometimes. There are some wonderful dead-pan one-liners in here, including the classic: “It may also mean that there is nothing to slide up the shock leader which could be a potential target for a passing wahoo.” Dreams are made of this, no?