The Mayfly and the Trout by Malcolm Greenhalgh
M A Rowe reviews Malcolm Greenhalgh's new fly fishing book on the invertebrate that, perhaps more than any other, captures the essence of trout fishing, the mayfly.
Originally published on our sister site www.fishingmagic.com
There are many species of insect of interest to the fly fisherman as they try to imitate the things that their quarry will eat ranging from Chironomids through to the sedges and even some terrestrials like the hawthorn and heather flies but perhaps the group that holds the most fascination are the Ephemerides from the diminutive Caenis to the top of the tree: the mayfly.
Anyone who has been on a river when the mayfly hatch is on they will tell you that it is one of the most wonderful sights in nature as these beautiful, big flies emerge from the surface of the water. It is to this wonderful insect, and its effect on the trout and the angler, that is the subject of Malcolm Greenhalgh's latest book.
As might be expected from an author who has a doctorate in invertebrates he is able to give a very good description of the mayfly and its life history. Interwoven with this is the history of anglers and their relationship with the mayfly; this has not been done in a dry and dusty style - it is very enjoyable as well as being easy to read and digest.
The book then goes on to have a look at the huge range of imitations that have been, and still are being, used by anglers to deceive their quarry. These include many historical dressings as well as more contemporary wet flies, dry flies and nymphs The fly dressers amongst you will have fun trying out all of the different recipes and interspersed with these are lots of fun and interesting asides.
From here the book goes onto a series of anecdotes; both the author's own and an anthology of others. It was a brave move to dedicate a whole book to one insect, however on this occasion Malcolm has pulled it off with some style.
The book is written in a light hearted, chirpy manner and is eminently readable, yet contains much of substance and will be a welcome addition to the shelves of all good fly anglers.
The Mayfly and the Trout is published by the Medlar Press and retails at £25.00
Binding: Hardback with dust-jacket
Illustrations: Full colour throughout