I have written this mostly to express my gratitude to the many that have in some way contributed to the success of my second book, South African Fishing Flies.
The happy moment, hot off the press.
It’s three months since South African Fishing Flies first appeared on the shelves in September this year. So far, the response has been positive with many encouraging and complimentary words from those that have a copy. The limited edition produced to my specification was done by Cape Town based company, Graphicraft. It has received plaudits from discerning local and overseas collectors – a fulfilling result. The Limited Editions were sold out before the book was completed and already nearly half of the 3000 + standard version printed, have been sold.
Two years after my first book, Call of the Stream was published in late 2008, I began to mull over thoughts of a second book. I knew I wanted the focus to be on flies, but what angle? I didn’t want it to be another fly-in-the-vice-step-by-step book. I jotted down ideas to create a framework and later wrote what became the first draft of probably nearly 20 versions of the introduction chapter. What it did was to help consolidate the direction and vision – I also wanted it to be a companion book to Call of the Stream, the history and origins of milestone indigenous SA flies and an introduction to some of the people who created them and their stories behind the fly. I wanted a strong personal feel with aesthetically appealing images of the flies in natural settings and showcasing the places we fish them.
I began the research, accumulating information, tracing origins back to the British and later American schools and their influence on our fly fishing and fly tying. I communicated with well-known flyfishers, historians and authors the likes of Oliver Edwards (UK), Mike Valla, Darrel Martin and The Catskill Flyfishing Centre and Museum (USA) and a number of local erudite flyfishers, Tom Sutcliffe, Ed Herbst, Tony Biggs and others. But, singularly the greatest source of information that laid a solid foundation being the Piscator, Journal of the Cape Piscatorial Society, a treasure trove of local information dating back to the 1940s and history earlier still. I began to identify flytyers and the flies for possible inclusion. My daughter Catherine Small a graphic designer helped bring my ideas for the design and layout into reality. Then there were a few who generously helped with images where mine were lacking, Tom Sutcliffe, Leonard Flemming, Neil Kruger and Pieter Taljaard.
About two years in and aware that Ed was going through a very difficult period of his life with illness and a particularly traumatic personal relationship, with the guidance of Steve Boshoff, I approached Ed about being my coauthor – there was no hesitation, he responded in the affirmative. The rest is history. Working closely with Ed over the next four years has been an experience – a special individual with among other things, an immense knowledge of matters fly fishing and an amazing memory recall. Ed’s involvement was invaluable as was the cooperation of all those that contributed so willingly to chapters in the book, not forgetting Ian Cox for agreeing to write the Foreword. Working together from opposite ends of the country had its challenges, hundreds of phone calls, thousands of emails and many sleepless nights and anxious moments, but it worked.
Meeting Linda and Helen at Penguin Random House, Struik and signing the 52 Limited Editions, a hand cramping exercise.
Writing is to an extent a craft or an art depending how it’s going at the time and although its done in temperamental solitude, it is an attempt at communication. Publishing on the other hand is a business, contracts, process, deadlines, changes like having reduce the content from 60 000 words to 40 000 and compromises like changing the original landscape format to square. Linda de Villiers was our helpful and professional management contact, Joy Clack the competent freelance proof-reader and Helen Henn the outstanding creative designer. Their helpful, friendly, guidance and professional competence contributed considerably to the final product of which we are truly proud.
At the special CPS Vice Squad evening organised by Tudor Caradoc-Davies for ED and I to talk about the book and tie a couple of our signature flies including contributors, Leonard Flemming and Darryl Lampert.
As I said in my recent post about ‘Writing – My Story …..”I have just been asked, “are you going to do another book?” My response, “it’s like asking a comrade’s marathon runner receiving his Vic Clapham medal after 11 hours of pounding 89 km of hot tar in a scorching 30 degree heat with a gusting head wind. Are you going to run again next year?”
Who knows? …. I do have a few stories to tell after 60+ years. 🙂
All images and copy in this post are copyright Peter Brigg Photography © 2017. All rights reserved