The Sound of Many Waters - A Fishing Life by Peter Powell
Reviewed by Terry Lawton
Peter Powell begins his book of memoirs of a lifetime spent fishing the Irish loughs and rivers with a superbly-written prologue which is one of he best pieces of angling writing that I have read for sometime. This book will be of great interest to everyone who has, or wants to, fish the major Irish loughs, particularly during the mayfly. It gives you a real feel of what it is like to fish the world-famous loughs of Corrib, Derg, Mask and others.
Peter Powell is a life-long fisherman who started his fishing career in salt water, then the pike of the Irish midlands' lakes and eventually trout fishing over much of the country. It was his mother who instilled in him his passion for the sport. She caught a trout of four and three-quarter pounds on Corrib, something which took him nearly all his fishing life to better.
Dapping is a very Irish technique and Powell writes engagingly of the fun and games to be had catching live mayfly, daddy long-legs and grasshoppers. He writes: 'The (may)flies were kept in wooden boxes which had been designed and made by generations long gone, each box would be unique and different from all others with its own arrangement of hinged doors, meshed air vents and hooks and rubber straps to keep things secure.'. It was the thrill of his first day dapping with live mayflies, aged 15, that ensured 'that the mayfly and I were destined to become regular companions.'.
Many of the people that he met fishing, as well as the boatmen, in his youth were to become lifelong friends. We learn the wisdom of fishing for rising trout - fish that can be said to be looking up to where your fly is likely to be - and how the good boatmen will position you to cast to the rise and even go back to cover again an area where a fish was seen to rise. This was particularly important on those loughs where the matfly hatch was perhaps sparse and so there were fewer rising fish.
I was saddened to read of his waning of enthusiasm for fishing at the end of the book - a decline, he states, parallels with the decline in quality of many of Ireland's fisheries - but everything turns out all right.The Sound of Many Waters -
A Fishing Life by Peter Powell. Published in paperback by The Fieldgate Press.
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