Fly Fishing for Atlantic Bass - new book reviewed
The key to any book review is to try and work out what the aim of the book is in the first place. Is it to inform, educate or amuse perhaps? Luckily author Justin Anwyl sets this out quite plainly in the preamble at the start of the book. He states the book was put together "to help like minded fishermen and women understand some of the key building blocks to becoming a better saltwater fly fishing enthusiast."
Set into 3 parts covering "Controllable Parameters", Uncontrollable Parameters" and "Other Observations", he sets out to try and share his many seasons of experience out on the water and break it down into some key points contained within each part. These give the reader a solid understanding of the basic underlying principles of the saltwater environment and the species in question, looking for example at where and when to fish for the best chances of success in terms of seasons, the lunar calendar and daily tides.
At times it does perhaps delve a little too deeply into scientific terminology for what is after all a title largely aimed at beginners, but despite that there is always a clear question, answer and summary section in each chapter which does make everything clear. The first 25% of the book is also made up of intro and supporting material which is perhaps a little long as Part 1 is not reached until page 17 and that does not include the 3 extra un-numbered pages at the very front.
That said once you do reach the information I felt that it did indeed pass on the salient and key points that those moving from a freshwater to saltwater environment would want and need to know and is much more likely to lead to early success than just turning up and giving it a go. Surely that then does meet the aim of the book as mentioned above. Supported by some nice local photographs and charts to help explain some key points such as the tidal curve, it could have used some extra little details in places to help out the raw beginner such as an explanation of what a leader is and the difference between mono and flurocarbon. Also it would have been nice to see more than just the 3 photos of bass included in the book which are all grouped together at the front on opposing pages which is a bit of a shame in a book extolling the virtues of fishing for them.
At £11 the 66 page book is less than half the price of a mid-range fly line and so represents good value as a reference guide that can be used primarily by those dipping their toes in the saltwater for the first time. Even anglers with some experience will pick up some nuggets of information as you always will from someone who guides almost every day from March to October.
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