A review by The FeathersandFluoro Team:
‘Fishing Stories for Africa’ is a beautifully compiled book with illustrations as intricate as the writing in the forty included short stories. There are, without a doubt, many stories in this book that will tickle everyone’s fancy. The stories from thirty-two different authors vary from fictional comedy, tongue-in-cheek humour and morbid stories to factual life-events and once-in-a-lifetime occurrences. The contrast in mood and style of writing between the authors is vast, which engages readers and will keep them entertained long enough to fall asleep with the book-on-lap well after midnight.
There are countless tips and secrets imbedded in the matrix of fishing text and places described which we are sure to visit now after reading the book (the Amazon, Gabon, and Lake Malawi included). Edward Truter’s mouth-watering story, Alligator Moon, about the amazon had us glance at our budgets for 2015, just in case we could fit in a trip to South America! The reading of the story went smoothly and we struggled to contain ourselves until the description of trairäo…
“I pitch the lure the few short yards again, and this time make it cut a swishing, zigzagging wake back to me. The strike comes on cue as the fish explodes on the lure and sinks its teeth through the plastic.”…“I lock down on the spool to keep the fish out of the drowned logs; but instead, it pulls us and the boat into the mess of branches and fouls my line on an overhanging limb. For a while it is touch and go…”…“The trairäo clears the surface in a sweeping jump, but its spirit is broken and I quickly land the 8 kilo fish. Sweating and shaking, I tell Ubaldo that this will be enough trairäo for the day. Trairäo fishing was something my nerves could only take in small doses.”
But then one reads “Mpasa” by Olaf Weyl, which describes in detail how a group of “fishy guys” travel to south-central Africa to attend to ichthyology-related business and catch mpasa, a large Opsaridium species that runs up rivers to spawn, similar to salmon. The corporate lifestyle could be easily given up after reading the story…
“Cast, reel, cast, reel, stop…look around and no one in sight. This was the life.”…”A little later, tied up to another mpasa, I suddenly got a strong whiff of elephant from behind me. They say that much of Africa’s big game is only dangerous if you surprise it. So there I was, singing loudly (probably a varsity rugby song with lyrics not for sensitive readers) while dancing up and down the riverbank fighting a fish.”
Then there were stories which seemed mainly fictional. Muldoon’s Luck, by James Keech, was one that was enjoyed in particular…
“I even believe in degrees of luck, for how else to describe Muldoon?”…”Muldoon’s luck defies analysis in a finite world.”…”But all in all, with some of that honesty usually alien to fisherman, and no little immodesty, I must admit his skills and knowledge are no greater than my own.”…”Muldoon’s luck, you can understand, is a very bitter pill for a fishing partner to swallow.”…”The sound of Muldoon’s whirring reel was in my ears; the sight of his tightly arched rod seared my sight; and envious frustration whirled about my head like a pestilent grey fog. After a 20-minute fight, Muldoon beached a rainbow trout as long as my arm.”
All this gripping and tantalising text is complimented with beautiful illustrations by Craig Bertram Smith, one of our world’s finest painters in the realistic genre. Leonard caught himself staring at one of the prints and daydreaming for nearly twenty minutes! It is a sketch of a spotted grunter about to suck in a sand prawn; an enigmatic fish that is the most wanted quarry of many a South African fly fisherman.
The greater majority of the stories are an absolute pleasure to read (and many will be read again and again).
A signed copy of this book is a must and it is the ideal Christmas present for the fishing hubby or fishing role-model dad.
To download an order form, click the book cover below!