Edward Truter and Martin Rudman produced a new fishing book called ‘Fishing Stories for Africa’. Ed described it to me as a summary of the Fishing & Hunting Journal’s best stories published over a decade; in Ed’s words: “The 300 pages are filled with stories set to entertain anyone with an interest in fishes, fishing, or the outdoor lifestyle”. I have no doubt that the high standard of material published in the F&H Journal will make this book a quality product.
There’s a story in this collection about a guy who goes fly fishing in the nude.
While on the river, he is approached by three local tribesmen in their traditional, nearly naked dress. The tribesmen are highly intrigued by what they see – a white man attempting to catch fish by waving a rod about in such strange a manner. It is a unique story, and even though it didn’t happen that long ago, it is doubtful that the tribe described still wander the savannah draped in nearly nothing. We’d bet our last bait that they’re all clad in made-in-China T-shirts now, for the world is a changing place.
And that is one of the reasons for creating this book, to preserve some stories in a form more permanent than the magazine in which they originally appeared. Choosing forty titles from ten years’ worth of The Fishing & Hunting Journal was like packing tackle for a hike-in trip, it wasn’t easy deciding what to leave behind. We chose some contributions because they’re classic storytelling; others were included for their entertainment value or humour; and a number of the writings were selected because they document something historically significant, a time that has passed or a sequence of events that in today’s world could never happen again. Some stories describe far-off places whose only link with Africa is that they were seen through the eyes of an African or written specifically for The Journal’s local audience.
The Fishing & Hunting Journal was the brainchild of Bruce Truter and first appeared in May 1998. The philosophy behind The Journal was to provide Southern African readers with an alternative to what else was available on the magazine racks. At heart it was something different, part entertainment where normal men and woman could share their stories and thoughts of the water and veld, and part education where scientists could communicate in laymen’s terms, facts and figures that the rest of us might learn from. But the undercurrent of The Journal was a conservation message to those who fish and hunt: without shouldering a collective responsibility, much of what we love will soon only be found in the pages of books.
The collection is enlivened by the art of Craig Bertram Smith (who has more talent than should be allowed). Many of the sketches in the book were originally Bruce’s commissions to Craig to illustrate specific stories. Today Craig’s art is in high demand but right from his earliest works he captured the feel of the scene and attitude of his subjects.
A wise man once said, and rightly so, that the two best times to go fishing are when it’s raining and when it isn’t, but the ins and outs of life often keep us away from the water, so we hope you will fill some of those in-between times by enjoying the words that follow.
A brief history and description of the editors and illustrator:
Martin Rudman was born and raised in the Eastern Cape where his grandfather taught him to fish as soon as he was old enough to hold a rod. He was the editor of The Fishing & Hunting Journal for several years and has been fortunate enough to fish many remote, local and international waters. He enjoys all forms of fishing, particularly experimenting with different species and techniques. Martin holds a postgraduate degree in Ichthyology and Fisheries Science from Rhodes University and worked as a game ranger before settling down inJohannesburg with his very patient wife, Mareza.
Edward Truter was fishing before he was born, literally. What his father started hasn’t slowed and he’ll try fish for just about anything, although he most enjoys casting lures and flies in places where coconuts grow. Home was always the Eastern Cape, but Edward is a traveler at heart and an earlier career in exploration geology, together with heaps of good luck and more recently, a freelancing lifestyle, have taken him to five continents and forty countries. For the moment he lives in Port Elizabeth and tries to fish whenever the wind isn’t blowing.
Craig Bertram Smith’s fascination with the ocean and its wildlife started as a young boy, going on fishing trips to the Wild Coast with his father and brother. Sketching was always something Craig loved to do, often drawing fish and other interesting creatures just for enjoyment. Today Craig is realizing his passion and paints fulltime from his Johannesburg studio. His paintings have achieved a strong following around the world and he is well known for his unique, detailed artwork and his talent for portraying gamefish in their natural element. To learn more, see www.craigbertramsmith.co.za
Some advice from Martin Rudman:
I hope that all of you are well. I just wanted to let you know that our fishing book, Fishing Stories for Africa, has finally been published. It makes a great gift for Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Eid, Guy Fawkes and Halloween.; not to mention a suitable prize for winners of Parcheesi or tenpin bowling competitions. There is a softcover version and a very nice limited edition hard cover version which is numbered and signed by the authors and artist Craig Bertram Smith. There were only 100 of the limited edition printed and they will probably sell out pretty fast. Fishing Stories for Africa is also available as an eBook from Amazon.com if you prefer the new-fangled way of doing things. Orders can be done directly through me.
Tel: 082 330 3093