Having caught dozens of reservoir Perch on Dog Nobblers many moons ago, I was intrigued to see what Dominic Garnett’s first book had to offer. It is a bold attempt to apply fly fishing techniques to almost all coarse fish. Not an entirely new idea as many writers have touched on the subject and a few have written a whole book about it albeit with regard to one species. Mr. Wolsoncraft-Dodds’ admirable ‘Fly fishing for Pike’ being the prime example.
Bernard Venables’ early illustrated works depicted father and son fly fishing for Dace and Chub. Barrie Rickards little ‘Catch more Perch’ booklet told of his Jay feather ‘Perch fly’ (Damn good fly it is too!) Enlightened monthly fly fishing publications have even dedicated whole articles to the subject, fly fishing for Perch or Zander, even carp. Perhaps to broaden the magazine’s appeal, increase sales and draw in the coarse fishing fraternity. But I don’t recall anyone putting the whole deal in one book.
This brave effort succeeds largely because of the experience of the author and his ability to convey the simple pleasures and excitement of hooking and landing a fish on an artificial fly.
The book’s layout is bold, attractive and easy to read with an abundance of well chosen photographs. It’s pleasing to see that the publishers have made a real effort here as none of the photographs have been ruined by the ‘double page spread’ which then cuts them in half with the spine! (thank you Merlin Unwin books).
By Dominic’s own admission it isn’t an exhaustive guide but an attempt to portray a simpler, direct and perhaps more intimate way of catching fish. It’s pleasing to note that this book is no ego trip, it’s not about the best method for the biggest fish, indeed some of the specimens photographed are very modest. But what is conveyed in those photographs is the look of pleasure and achievement on the captors face.
In these days when the ‘Personal Best’ is still king, it is very refreshing to find someone capable of instructing us about the fun of fishing, which is why most of us came to the sport in the first place! Now I’ve read the book, I’m looking forward to the film! Apparently the DVD is due out soon and frankly I can’t wait!