Book Review of Jungle Blues

Jungle Blues – Book Review

Jungle Blues

The inappropriate adventures of a fly-fishing geek

Stu Tripney

300 pages

RRP $40.00

When Stu Tripney invited me to review his book and I heard it was about fly fishing, he lost me straight away.

He went on to say that it was probably the most different fly-fishing book I was ever going to read, and my interest piqued.

I personally find most fly-fishing books exceptionally well written and illustrated, with some great imagery, but it stops there. I am a trout angler, but not a fly fisher. Standing nuts deep in freezing cold water with just thin neoprene protecting my nether regions has never really done it for me.

Stu’s crowd-funded book quickly arrived by courier and I tentatively started on the first chapter – just a couple of pages in and I was hooked. I needed to read more but had to do it surreptitiously while the rest of the team were beavering away on real work. I left the office early on the pretence of some irrelevant chore or another, but in reality, I wanted more of Jungle Blues, described as the ‘inappropriate adventures of a fly-fishing geek’.

Of Scottish descent, Stu’s fishing pedigree stretches the length of a double handed salmon rod. He is known worldwide for his fly-tying ability and as a guide and casting coach.

Jungle Blues centres around Stu scratching an itch – for adventure – that sees him join an old friend Paul for several months targeting the notoriously elusive snakehead (Pia Chado) and gourami in a lake deep in the Malaysian jungle. No top end lodges for Stu; accommodation was either hammock – which he never really mastered sleeping in – or on the ground under the fly. He lived out of a tin and a noodle packet and relied on a not so reliable tinny and frequently re-built outboard to get him to the hot spots. Reading Jungle Blues was just like the author’s experience exploring the lake – you never quite knew what to expect around the next headland!

A great read and a wonderful insight into a man that is very much a part of our Kiwi angling heritage.

Available online at

   This article is reproduced with permission of   
New Zealand Fishing News

August 2020 - Grant Dixon
Re-publishing elsewhere is prohibited

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