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Saturday, 19 March 2011


Took some photos of my cottage this morning and came inside to download onto my laptop only to find my data cable missing/mislaid/lost.

Wanted to stand in the shade of the siringa tree in my yard to take one of the photo's when I noticed that the tree was full of large golden orb spiders and their webs, so I got as close as possible and photographed one. These spiders have beautiful markings and their webs have a golden glow in the sunlight. Will post the photo on my blog as soon as I get a new data cable.

In my personal profile I have only put down two books, but I have lots of favourite books and authors. One of my majors while doing my library degree was English literature. Here I want to talk about fly fishing and fly tying books.

The jewel in my collection is a 1897 reprint of the 5th edition of Izaak Walton's "The Compleat Angler". The title page reads, The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton. Edited with an Introduction by Richard Le Gallienne Illustrated by Edmund H. New, with the motto Piscatoribus Sacrum.Printed on handmade cloth paper it's my pride and joy! The origional 5th edition, published in 1676, was the last edition personally edited by Walton. I found this copy in a 2nd hand bookshop in Cockermouth, Cumberland, In the North West part of England. The book is still in a perfect condition.

Another favourite of mine is "A Fly Fisher's Life" by Charles Ritz.(1967)(I was young and handsome in 67, just handsome now. Ha Ha) A cultured and civilised man who had a lot useful information and experience on fly fishing. Bought this book at a second hand Bookshop in Howick a Lovely town about 70 km from Estcourt. 

"Hardy's book of fishing" by Patrick Annesley is another of my favourites. Published 1971, reprinted in 1972, in consists of piece from the Hardy Bros. Fishing catalogue, From the mid !800 to the 1950's. A quote from p86 Concerning Wading; 
" Avoid standing upon rocking stones, for obvious reasons; never go into the water deeper than the fith button of your waistcoat; even this does not always agree with tender constitutions in frosty weather. As you are likely not to take a just estimate of the cold in the excitement of the sport, should you be of delicate temperament, and be wading in the month of February, when it may chance to freeze very hard, pull down you stockings, and examine your legs.Should they be black, or even purple, it might perhaps, be as well to get on dry land; but if they are only rubicund, you may continue to enjoy the water, if it so pleases you,"  This was written by William Scrope, Days and nights of Salmon-Fishing, 1843. Those old Victorians were definitely not wimps! Rubberised canvas wading trousers were available from about the 1880's for wimps.

Quote: Many have supposed angling void of delight, never having tried it, yet have afterwards experimented it so full of content, that they have quitted all other recreation. Robert Venables.

Next blog I'll discuss some South African books.


Margaret said...

Good Morning. I came over from Jo's blog. Do you get to eat the fish you catch? Many of the fishermen here in U.S. throw everything back. They fish just for the sport of it, or so they say. Looking forward to your pictures. Hope there will be some of the school as well.

Joyful said...

Though am not a fly fisherwoman I enjoyed reading about your books on same. How fortunate that you have some real collector's books.

Gaelyn said...

Scrope's book sounds very entertaining. I'm not a fisherwoman either, yet certainly like to walk almost any place one can fish. But I do Love books, so can appreciate your Walton's with hand-made cloth paper. Hope you get a cord soon.

Desiree said...

Also not a fisher-woman or fisherman's wife, but I have two friends whose husbands fish (not fly fishing, though). I am aware that fly fishing is an art form, though and can comprehend the quote by Robert Venables.

I should imagine a big part of the experience is the absolute oneness (intimate connection) with nature (water, sky, surrounding scenery) and the challenge of man against fish that is part of the great attraction for this sport?