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Fishing On The Front Line by Nick Sawyer

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Reviewed by Terry Lawton

Nick Sawyer's first book is the second book written by a new author that I have read recently. Charles Rangeley-Wilson, the other first-time author, had the benefit of writing many articles for various magazines including The Field and a number of fishing publications. Nick Sawyer's first-ever article was published by Fish & Fly a year or two ago. That article, about fishing in Bosnia, is included in this book but in a much-extended form.

Nick is Frank Sawyer's grandson and he lives in Salisbury near the river Avon. Major Nick Sawyer is a parachute-trained Gunner Officer serving in the Royal Horse Artillery. He was commissioned into the Army in 1994 and his military career has taken him to 22 countries so far. He describes his first book as 'simply an account of an ordinary Army Officer who has been lucky enough to fish and soldier with some extraordinary people in a few rather unusual places and in very interesting times.' Fishing On The Front Line is certainly an eye-catching title and a very different idea for a fishing book. There have been so many fishing books written over the last 100 or more years that it is quite difficult to come up with a new and different approach.

In his introduction, Nick writes that hen he first considered writing this book that he was unsure whether to write it as a soldier who enjoyed fishing, or as a fisherman who was a soldier. I think that for the fisherman reading this book, he wrote it as a soldier first and foremost. Sadly, there is not enough fishing. But to read his account of helping to keep the peace in Bosnia at a time when American troops, hiding behind their sunglasses, are having such a terrible time in Iran, is illuminating.

Nick has finished his book by including some un-published writing of his grandfather Frank, including a poem. There are also two appendices, one on the killer bug and how to fish it and the second on the pheasant tail nymph.

It will be interesting to see if Nick Sawyer's fledgling career as a writer is as successful as his grandfather's. While in some ways it is probably easier to find a publisher today - there are many more than in Frank's day - there is an ever-increasing number of would-be and first-time writers all hoping to get books published.

FISHING ON THE FRONT LINE by Nick Sawyer is published by Merlin Unwin Books at £17.99. Hardback 213 pages.

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