I’m a collector of flyfishing stuff! Not just a tackle junkie with a weakness for quality gear, but I have a thing for reels, light rods, a fast developing attraction to bamboo rods, antique bits-n-pieces and provided of course, I can afford it. My space in the house is a little like a slowly creeping sloth. At first it occupied a corner of my clothes cupboard until I got rid of a pile of clothes to the SPCA because that is a good cause, and in any event you don’t need that much to cover the essential parts of your body; so now there is place to expand. Oh yes, while on the subject, a quarter of the TV room is occupied with a fly tying table and all the paraphernalia that goes with it and 2 large small book cases. Then there is another in the lounge and a shelf for now, in the passage book case. I have come to the realisation that I am officially a hoarder of fine things, fine in my opinion, an opinion not necessarily shared by my long suffering wife! My wife calls it sneaky encroachment; I like to think of it more as creative expansion. My collections also include, photographic equipment, knives and camping stoves, like the reels, I can’t resist another good one. And, each time I turn my back they produce a better model. Whether I will get around to ever using them all, who knows, but I do know that I have two sons and a daughter and six grandsons already eyeing some of it.
However, today while doing a little tidying up I realised that my book collection of local flyfishing literature is reaching not nearly as much as others I know, but substantial proportions. My books are also sprinkled with international authors that have either brought me great enjoyment fishing through the pages, but assisted me in direction and techniques on many aspects of my flyfishing journey, which God willing still has a way to go.
Amongst the international authors there are the likes of John Geirach, Darrel Martin, Gary Borger, Gary LaFontein, Mike Valla, Ed Engle, A K Best, Datus Proper, Bob Wyatt, Charles Ritz, Frank Sawyer and many others. Among the South African literature, Sydney Hey’s classic, “Rapture of the River”, the books by Bob Crass, Wolf Avni, Tom Sutcliffe and Dean Riphagen, Prof. Duncan Brown with his fascinating new book “Are Trout South African”, and all the authors who broke new ground in the early days of establishing our own angling history and breaking away from the influences of the English and American schools of flyfishing. For any potential collector I can recommend Paul Curtis’s book, “Fishing the Margins” which for the first time documented the titles and chronology of our flyfishing literature. I now eagerly await his revised edition, which will bring the list up to date. For anyone starting out, Paul’s book is a good place to begin and what to look for and what to expect. There are a number of dealers around the country that will assist in finding collectors items, but for my money, Craig Thom of Netbooks, (http://www.netbooks.co.za/) is the place to go.
For now I need to finish reading my latest acquisition, a first edition of “Trout in the Kloofs” published by the Cape Piscatorial Society in 1962 on behalf of the contributors; a collection of articles that appeared in the CPS’s annual journal the Piscator. The content is close to my heart because what the authors did in the 1950s I mirror in my exploration of remote mountain streams in the KZN Drakensberg today.
Please note that all written and photographic material contained in this blog and its posts are the sole ownership of the author/photographer and may not be copied or used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior consent of the author/photographer having been obtained – Peter Brigg.