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Bob Church, This Fishing Life by Bob Church

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Reviewed by Terry Lawton

There can't be many game anglers, certainly in the UK, who have not heard of Bob Church. What some readers of this book, like me, may not know is just what a versatile angler he is. He has won team gold medals at the world fly fishing championships in 1987 and 1988 and European team gold in 1990, as well as individual medals, and is also a very successful coarse fisherman. Like many good fly fishermen, he started life as a coarse angler. Good coarse anglers usually make good fly anglers because they have a real understanding of fish and where they are likely to be found.

I was very interested to read about all the different ways that stillwater fisheries are run in the UK and there is plenty of food for thought for anyone thinking of starting such a fishery as a way to diversify away from farming for example. Another area of interest is the background and development of his many successful fly patterns including the Appetizer lure, the Church Fry, Claret Hatching Midge and the Ginola, named after the French footballer David Ginola. Would you believe that Bob Church was catching 500 fish a season in the early 1970s?! He was fishing a full season between 1 April and 31 October.

Competition anglers will find much of value as will anyone who is a regular stillwater angler and is looking to try new venues. There is a lot of information about different lakes and reservoirs and the best places and times to fish many of them.

The cover of this book describes Bob Church as the Game Angler of the Millennium, this was the result of a pole of readers of Trout Fisherman magazine. Whether or not he is the greatest game angler of the last 1000 years is up to the reader to decide. What cannot be denied is that over a very long fishing life Bob Church has achieved a vast amount and is responsible for very many fly and tackle developments.

Bob Church, This Fishing Life, by Bob Church, is published by The Crowood Press Ltd at £19.95. Hardback, 159 pages.

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