How We Fish – Book Review

I was contacted recently by HarperCollins, the book publishers, to ask if I’d like to review How We Fish: The Love, Life and Joy of the Riverbank by Paul Whitehouse and John Bailey. Now I’m a big fan of Mortimer & Whitehouse Gone Fishing on BBC2 so of course I said yes.

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Now obviously the book is titled ‘How We Fish’ and is about the fishing that Paul and John like to do and is a far cry from the matches I fish every weekend. Knowing that, I went into this book with my ‘fisherman’ hat on rather than my ‘match anglers cap’.

I really enjoyed this read, it’s full of some wonderful stories and anecdotes and there’s no denying both the authors can fish a bit and John in particular is a great writer and can bring a scene to life with his words. Although most branches of our sport are touched upon in this book, it’s fly fishing and Paul’s passion for it that shines through the 320 pages. I’ve tried it and it’s never really floated my boat but I can appreciate the dedication and skill in the art of casting a fly.

While they wax lyrical about salmon, trout and all things fly fishing, they’re obviously not big fans of commercial fisheries, method feeders or modern day carp fishing. In fact they have a somewhat idealistic view of angling and I totally understand that (after all the book is about them, why and how they fish) but exclusive salmon beats, private estate lakes and fishing for taimen in the River Shishged, Mongolia are simply out of reach for the vast majority of the angling population.

There are some great colour photos and Part One covers everything from their favourite flies to caring for your catch. Part Two looks at the four seasons and their memorable sessions where they hope to inspire the reader to go out and create their own fishing adventures and memories. The final part of the book is entitled ‘The Nuts and Bolts of What We Do’ which basically looks at the methods, techniques and kit they use along with explaining other fishing terminology and describing some of the wildlife that anglers encounter on a regular basis.

To be honest, I think they tried to cover too much ground in Part Three and found some of the entries a little simplistic but then that’s probably the point, you can make fishing as complicated or as simple as you like. Whichever route you take, it’s the learning on the journey that makes angling the wonderful sport we all love.

Well worth a read, I really enjoyed it, if you fancy grabbing a copy, head to Amazon here

*I received this book from HarperCollins free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions contained in this post are my own.




Posted by Jamie Rich

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