G. Thomas and N. Bray - Thomas and Bray's Stillwater Fly Swotter

Swan Hill Press £7.95
ISBN 1 85310 907 X

Originally developed as the source for a computer program, this shirt pocket sized is a brave attempt to produce a foolproof system for beginners fishing UK waters. It just misses the mark, which is a pity, because a book with a title as good as this one deserves to succeed.

The Swotter is split into three main sections: rise forms and what to try; flies and lures; and a monthly guide to fly selection. Despite its size, there is a huge amount of information packed in here; for example each pattern has concise fishing instructions appended to it. But in spite its clear layout, the book still manages to confuse. The hawthorn fly is mentioned in the first section, but there is no corresponding pattern in the second section, and the same applies to many of the olives. General patterns are given, and an expert would have no problem working out which one to use, but a novice would get lost early on. A second edition, which gave a clearer indication of which pattern represented which natural could be a best seller.

The best book of this type is Lapsley and Bennett's Pocket Guide to Matching the Hatch.