Book Review- Tales from the Angler's Retreat
Fishing stories from South Uist Edited By Matthew Crampton & David Peutherer Published by Muddler Books Price £7.95 sterling or US $11.95
I have to admit to having some difficulty in writing a review for this book. It has been edited by two regular visitors to the Angler's Retreat (a guesthouse catering mostly for anglers and bird watchers) who are also writers. As well as their own stories they have gathered tales from other regulars. The press information also states:-
“Every Year the same hardy groups of fly fishermen travel far to reach The Angler's Retreat guesthouse on the remote Scottish Island of South Uist. Once there they enjoy some of the world’s finest wild trout and salmon fishing. They also experience the remarkable hospitality of hosts Billy and Marion Felton.”
The book contains a mixture of short tales from the regular visitors with some of their favourite fly dressings (but sadly no pictures or diagrams) together with praise from all of them for the Feltons – to Billy for his great knowledge of the local lochs and all matters about the fishing and his wife Marion for the wonderful meals provided. The more you read the more you feel you want to visit.
We are however advised early in the book that the Feltons are nearing retirement. The website www.anglersretreat.net currently still has the 2005/06 tariff showing so they may have already gone. As the book seems to be as much in praise of the Feltons and Billy’s great knowledge of the local fishing it is not possible to treat this book as a normal fishing book. It is a mixture of all sorts of short anecdotes from the people who have visited with a short history of how the guesthouse came about. In paperback at about 160 pages it is not a book you feel you have to read in one go but one you can pick up and read a bit more when you have a few minutes to spare. A useful read if you are going to visit South Uist as it also contains references to other sources of information.
My main impression is that this is a book as much in praise of the Feltons as it is about the great fishing to be had in South Uist and needs to read in this context.
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