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Wild Fishing In Wild Places by Adrian Latimer

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Reviewed by Terry Lawton

It is good, and encouraging, to read a new and (relatively) young (early 40s) English fishing writer. As long as he keeps up his current level of fishing and travelling, Adrian Latimer will always have plenty to write about. Although his work keeps him in air miles, his fishing ventures resulting from business travel have not always been the best: deep sea trolling in Bermuda saw him adding his breakfast to the trail of chum drifting astern the boat. An experience he has no wish to repeat. And who can blame him?

Adrian Latimer published this his first book in December 2001. Was this a brave venture or perhaps conceit? I am pleased to say that it is the former and that, so far, it seems to have been a successful venture in that by the end of 2002, Adrian had donated over £2,000 (Euros 3,350 for those that like them and, it should be added, that Adrian is based in France so they are his daily currency) to the North Atlantic Salmon Fund.

It is evident from the way this book is written and the Adrian Latimer's graphic descriptions of his short-comings when fishing for both trout and salmon, that self-publishing was not a conceit but he felt that he had many good stories to share with follow anglers and that he could raise money for a very good cause.

Latimer has fished many, if not most, of the places that the armchair-travelling angler only dreams about. There's bone fishing in Los Roques, Venezuela, trout and sea trout on the lochs of Caithness and Irish loughs, salmon in Iceland and a very disappointing visit to the Itchen for brown trout. I am still waiting to fish the Itchen but having read of Adrian's experience, anyone fishing this famous river will have to be very careful and selective where they go, unless they are happy catching fat, guileless stock fish.

I enjoyed very much one chapter, The Ultimate Elixir, which produced some quotable remarks on what you really need to catch salmon, the development of trout flies and fishing philosophy. For example: 'Naturally, the largest trout have a classical education and would no more dream of rising to an incorrect Latin named subspecies of the genus ephemeroptera than they would of dancing with a mayfly with one tail too many!' And then ' . . . . the expert who can spot, identify and name in at least two languages, one dead and one alive, any speck floating by on the surface twenty yards away.' I am sure we all know of such bores although happily, most of my fishing is free of such people.

The last chapter is a very helpful list of fishing locations and contact details for anyone who wishes to try some of the places described in this book.

All-in-all this excellent collection of fishing stories will help all fellow anglers while away dark winter nights or, even better, speed-up that flight to New Zealand or wherever.

Wild Fishing In Wild Places by Adrian Latimer. Published by the author in paperback at £14.50, 203 pages.

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