The Teesdale Angler
sporting classics / 31st October 2016

The Teesdale Angler was first published in 1858 and intended by its author ‘as a help and guide to Trout fishers generally, especially those of Yorkshire, Durham, Westmoreland, and Cumberland.’ Lakeland’s perceptive advice and richly observed insights – his artificial fly patterns and methods for dressing them – have earned this little book a lasting place in the library of fly-fishing classics. from The Teesdale Angler: ADVICE TO BEGINNERS. Angling is such a popular recreation that professors of the gentle craft are to be found amongst all classes and conditions of the Genus homo. The disciples of glorious old Izaack – is not their name Legion? In early youth, fascinated with the capture of the tiny Minnow or glittering Gudgeon, the youthful Tyro is known in after years as the expert Salmon and Trout fisher. To become a really expert angler, requires a good deal of energy, perseverance, and activity, accompanied by a suitable amount of patience and ingenuity. In the fourth chapter of Waverly are the following observations, “that of all diversions which ingenuity ever devised for the relief of idleness, fishing is the worst qualified to amuse a man, who is at once indolent and impatient, such men’s…

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Angling Sketches
sporting classics / 8th July 2016

Angling Sketches was first published in 1891. It rapidly went out of print and into a second edition. Lang added a new chapter for an 1895 edition called ‘The Complete Bungler’, a comic micro-drama between two fly-fishermen, one from Scotland and one from England. In miniature the two protagonists enact the single most pressing debate to ripple through the fly-fishing community in the last decades of the nineteenth century, and through much of the twentieth: of ‘dry fly’ versus ‘wet fly’, of ‘upstream’ versus ‘downstream’. Lang belonged decidedly to the North and his little book of tales can be read as his defence of the northern, ‘north-country’ wet-fly tradition. But it is, of course, so much more. By his own testimony Andrew Lang was not a great fisherman. A reader approaching his Angling Sketches in the hope of finding snippets of fishing insight will be disappointed. Its inspiration lies elsewhere, for Lang was a consummate storyteller, and Angling Sketches is as much about spinning yarns as it is about spinning reels. Lang’s insatiable narrative drive enlivens these delightful tales of adventure. In essence fly-fishing has changed very little over the years. Angling Sketches, with its rich and intimate evocation of…

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The Book of the Grayling
sporting classics / 8th July 2016

It has always seemed to me that the Grayling is entitled to a better place in the estimation of anglers than the one usually accorded him….The trout is the angler’s fish of spring and early summer, when every soft breeze is laden with a perfumed invitation to see Nature at her best; the Grayling is a fish of the year’s old age: of that time when the morning silver of early winter mingles with the russet and amber of the woods, that want but the midday light of the Enchanter to blossom into gold…’ So begins this absolutely wonderful fly-fishing book that changed the world of angling forever. T. E. Pritt’s timeless classic The Book of the Grayling has inspired generations of fly-fishers. First published in 1888, it was long considered the definitive book on the subject of grayling. Pritt drew from a long and rich Northern English tradition of fly-fishing in the limestone rivers and streams of Yorkshire. Many of the methods and techniques he describes are still to be found in use today. This new edition of The Book of the Grayling makes Pritt’s eloquent prose available to fly-fishers and armchair adventurers the world over.

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Woodcraft
sporting classics / 8th July 2016

For generations of outdoor enthusiasts E.H. Kreps was a trusted authority on wilderness camping and survival. Woodcraft, as well as defining what we now call bushcraft, remains to this day an essential guide to living and travelling in the remote forests of Northern Europe and North America The first camp I remember making, or remodeling, was an old lumber camp, one side of which I partitioned off and floored. It was clean and neat appearing…but that was not really a wilderness camp, and while I realize that in many of the trapping districts where it is necessary to camp, there are often these deserted buildings to be found, those who trap or hunt in such places are not the ones who must solve the real problems of camp building. It is something altogether different when we get far into the deep, silent forest…. So begins E H Krepps’ classic account of Woodcraft which has led to a whole modern industry of the Ray Mears and Bear Grylls type outdoor adventure. What is interesting about Krepps’ writing is that he of course is writing before many of the modern comforts, materials and techniques had made any sort of appearance and for…

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Chats on Angling
sporting classics / 8th July 2016

H.V. Hart-Davis’s Chats on Angling offers timeless advice on the art of fly-fishing for Salmon, trout, sea-trout, and grayling. Whether dry-fly fishing for plump chalk stream trout of the Test and Itchen, or on one of England’s most exclusive fishing waters, the Driffield Beck in Yorkshire, or salmon fishing the big waters of Scotland and Ireland, Chats on Angling remains the classic, indispensable guide. As Mr Hart-Davis begins his book, many fishermen will agree…..‘To those who love angling, with all its associations and surroundings, no apology may be needed for inflicting on them in book form certain short articles which have mainly appeared in the columns of the Field. They are ‘Chats’ rather than didactic deliverances, and are offered in the belief that much will be forgiven to a brother angler, since all that pertains to the beloved pastime has some interest, and the experiences of the poorest writer that ever recorded his views and fancies may haply strike some responsive note.

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