Fly fishing is not difficult, but it is complex, writes author Derek Grzelewski in the opening gambit of his first chapter, ‘The Essence of Fly-Fishing’.
He then spends the next 190 or so pages of his recently released Fly-Fishing in NZ – what you need to know book de-mystifying the art that is fly fishing. He says there are no quick returns and instant gratifications, no short cuts worth taking, but the long-term rewards are there to enjoy for those who take the first steps on the fly-fisher’s journey.
Derek is no stranger to the written word on the subject, the author of such respected texts as The Trout Diaries, The Trout Bohemia and Trout Dreams – known as The Trout Trilogy – as well as numerous contributions to a number of coffee-table publications including FlyLife, Smithsonian, NZ and Australian Geographic and MidCurrent.
A respected guide, Derek lives close to his subject in a cabin beside the Clutha River, and established the Wanaka Fly-Fishing Academy. His iTunes podcasts and website postings are enjoyed by trout enthusiasts world-wide.
So, with such august credentials, Derek is the right person to coach fly-fishers, regardless of their experience, through the river of freshwater fishing knowledge one must negotiate to be competent in the art. The book covers off stream craft; tackle selection; angling styles; a range of casting techniques from the very basic through to more complicated; sighting trout; entomology and matching the hatch; and where to fish and when.
Speaking of fishing knowledge, Derek says the devil is in the detail, “but not all the detail.” “How is the angler to know what is key and what is optional?” he asks.
He wrote Fly-Fishing in New Zealand to provide the answers to that very question.
RRP - $39.99.
Reviewed by Grant Dixon
19 November 2020