Introduction to my Books

Yet More Sweet Days – Notes from a fly fisher's Life. In stock.

YET MORE SWEET DAYS P6150408

Title: Yet More Sweet Days- Notes from a fly fisher's Life; Burnet Media, 2019; pages 472, chapters 20, pen and ink sketches 50. ISBN 9781928230717. Distributed by Jacana Media.

Yet More Sweet Days was published in mid-2019. The finished product is very pleasing. The book has the feel of comfortable sumptuousness, printed on high-quality low-gloss paper wrapped in a striking cover taken of the kloof section of the lovely Lourens River outside Somerset West. So I am a very happy author, thanks to my punctilious publisher, Tim Richman of Burnet Media, and his professional team Anina Rokita and Sean Robertson.

Yet More Sweet Days is a sequel to Hunting Trout and Shadows on the Stream Bed, 471 pages of fly fishing and 50 pen and ink sketches that have been extremely well reproduced. The book is taken from almost a lifetime's experiences of fly fishing and the aim of it, as with all my books on fly fishing, is to share my joy of the sport through anecdotes that at the same time try to impart angling lessons.

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The bridge over the Sterkspruit River on the upper Branksome beat. Chapter 5, 'Back-country Bridges'.

Subjects range from stillwater fly fishing, fishing in Iceland, fishing the chalkstreams of Hampshire, the rivers and streams I love best in South Africa, observations on fishing alone, notes on trout flies, back-country bridges, and the diary of three visits to the Eastern Cape Highlands around Rhodes and Barkly East.

Art from Chapter 1

Chapter 1

The book is available directly from me. If you want a specially personalised copy, or just want to know more about the book, please drop me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yet More Sweet Days sells for R320 and the courier cost is R100 to all major centres in South Africa. (for up to three books per courier bag).

Reflections on Flyfishing - In stock

REFELECTIONS ON FLYFISHING865

Published in 1990 : Mark and Ronald Basel (Dalbridge, Durban), ISBN  0-620-15350-4.

75 essay-like chapters. Soft cover. 201 pages with many pen and ink drawings and black and white photographs.

Proceeds were donated to The Natal Fly fishers Club and The Fly Fishers' Association (Durban).

Like the best seller My Way with a Trout (1984) this book is an assembly of articles I wrote for the Natal Mercury at the time. As a sequel to My Way with a Trout it was not as much of a success, which has always surprised me because I have enjoyed rereading this book immensely, certainly as much if not more than My Way With a Trout.

It covers an equally wide range of topics in fly fishing written at time when the sport was well into its renaissance where there was increasing emphasis in stillwater dry fly fishing and the use of smaller flies. It also brings in some different fly fishing venues in chapters on the Okavango Swamps that at the time were mildly pioneering and instructional for people thinking of taking a fly fishing safari into those wonderful waterways. And there's an interesting chapter on fishing Switzerland's Alpine streams and the famous River Töss near Zurich and around Lorach and Mombach in the Black Forest in Germany in the delightful Wiesse River.

The price per copy is R85.

The Third Edition of Hunting Trout

FINAL COVER THIRD EDITION-JPG

People ask why I've bothered to publish a third edition of this book. The fact is I get regular inquiries from people looking to buy a copy and I have had none in stock for nearly two years. Second-hand copies, especially of the first edition, are now not only pricey but are also hard to come by. So I approached the publishers of Yet More Sweet Days, Burnet Media, and they were happy to take the project on.

But in these difficult post-Covid times it's a gamble, I know, and to offset the risk I have limited the print run to 500 copies, a number of which are already on backorder.

I have gone for a redesigned cover crafted quite brilliantly by Sean Robertson of Burnet Media from a photograph by Gerhard Laubscher of the Bokspruit River in the Eastern Cape Highlands. There's an added piece of text in which I described how I came to write Hunting Trout in the first place, how Ed Herbst influenced many chapters especially through his eccentricities in packing and travel, and there's a new foreword by Steve Boshoff. Nick Lyon's first foreword has been retained. Much of the artwork has been redone with many new pieces added, including a study of the old cottage on Heatherdon from which we would leave to fish the famous Old Dam.

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Some of the many new drawings in the Third Edition of Hunting Trout 

 

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The cottage on the Old Dam, Heatherdon

The layout of this edition of Hunting Trout has been designed to look like a twin for Yet More Sweet Days with the same paper and the same sort of wrap-around cover.

The book is now available. The book retails for R320 plus the cost of door-to-door courier delivery at around R100 to all major centres in South Africa.

The Elements of Fly Tying

IMG-20190818-WA0006      COVER ELEMENTS OF FLY TYING

The book is available free on the internet as a free download, but in my view, nothing replaces your own hard copy.  At least that way you can practise your tying from the book remote from a pc and in anybody's life these days that must be a blessing of sorts..

The book otherwise sells for R205 including VAT but excluding door to door courier delivery.

TS Fly tying

I wrote this book and drew the illustrations for it with one purpose in mind – to help beginners learn fly tying from scratch. The intention is to teach the principles of fly tying to an absolute novice in steps that are easily understood and precisely illustrated – steps such as learning thread tension, the proportion of flies, how to handle various materials, how to wing a dry fly and so on. My objective is that by the end of the book the fly tier concerned should be able to tie virtually any pattern he or she wants.

To help in the understanding of basics I have long believed that pen drawing achieves more than photographs. Examples of actual illustrations from the book follow.

The book has a magnificent glossy embossed cover, has 206 pages and illustrates 20 different fly patterns. It was published by Platanna Press (2008). The foreword is by Murray Pedder. It has illustrations for every step and for every pattern described.

Shadows on the Stream Bed

SHADOWS 2 ON THE STREAMBED867

Platanna Press 2009 . ISBN 978-0-9814255-1-1. 383 pages with 40 pen and ink drawings.

Price R205.

Writes Ed Herbst:

It is said that just as few Parisians have climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower so have the majority of Capetonians not taken the cable car to the summit of Table Mountain. Those who live in the beautiful pastoral landscape of the Eastern Cape Drakensberg are probably just as guilty of taking their surroundings for granted but, for dedicated fly fishers around the country, the dream of an annual pilgrimage to fish these rivers and streams is what sustains us through the heat and haze, the hustle and bustle of city life.

And there is no more dedicated pilgrim to this area than Tom Sutcliffe's book, Shadows on the Stream Bed. In it Tom covers the wide landscapes of fishing from Lady Grey to Barkly East, Rhodes, Maclear, Ugie and Dordrecht.

The Eastern Cape Highlands form a constant theme in Shadows on the Stream Bed, starting in chapter one, “Undiscovered Fly Streams” with the little tributaries on the Naude’s Nek Pass that few locals bother to fish, but which provide a pristine and almost unknown canvas for Tom’s literary brush, a chapter of the lakes of Highland Lodge near Dordrecht and ending in Chapter 23, “Barkly, Rhodes and Mountains of Trout Once More.”

But if Barkly East, Rhodes and Maclear, and the people in this area, provide the main current in the book, there are many other diversionary and entertaining tributaries; fly fishing journeys to the Okavango Delta and South Island, New Zealand, the perils of flying light aircraft in search of fly fishing, fishing camp food and camp cooks in a delightful chapter, Good Trips and Bad Trips and, in the Pucker Factor there are some salutary thoughts on why mountain areas and their rivers need to be treated with respect and circumspection.

Fly rods provide the input for two chapters, Lightness and Small stream fever that describe the evolution of ultra-light fly fishing and in the chapter, Bamboo Tom describes the resurgence in interest in split cane fly rods produced in the century-old tradition by superb South African craftsmen such as Steve Boshoff and Steve Dugmore.

Tom, as those as who have met him, will testify, is very much a renaissance man - writer, painter and highly regarded medical practitioner– and one of his paintings adorns the book cover while his line drawings punctuate the chapters. Those who know him, however, say that the advent of digital photography gave him a new artistic avenue to explore and the chapter, Catching fish on camera is the best exposition on digital photography I have ever read.

I tend to judge a book by the regret I feel when I turn the final page and I would have been a lot happier had this book been twice as long as its almost 400 pages.

It is an outstanding addition to the lexicon of South African fly fishing literature.