Beneath The Black Water: The Search For An Ancient Fish

A story of one man's obsession to catch an ancient fish in the deepest waters of the Scottish Highlands and beyond

‘When I was very young and on holiday in Scotland, my cousin told me about giant trout that lived in small numbers at the bottom of the Highlands’ deepest lochs. They were called salmo ferox, and they were rumoured to be uncatchable.’

In his twenties, wholly accidentally, Jon Berry caught one. This led to an obsession that would cost him every pound he had to his name, a few thousand that I did not, a couple of girlfriends and his home. It would take him to Scotland, Cumbria and the wildest corners of Ireland, in the company of a disparate band of fanatics – alcoholics, mountain men, scientists, tree-planting eco-warriors and one genuine soothsayer. Not all of them survived.

  • The story of salmo ferox, the cannibalistic giant trout of the glacial lochs.
  • An account of Berry’s five year mission, his drive, determination , and discovery of a landscape and a clan.
  • A tale of compulsion, escape and a willing descent into madness.
  • Will have you hooked, fellow fisherman or not.

Beneath The Black WaterJon Berry is the author and teacher. He has contributed to many fishing magazines and websites and is a former editor of the Barbel Fisher magazine.  He lives in Wiltshire, within casting distance of the River Avon.  This is his second book.


‘Beneath the Black Water is the wonderful account of a mad, disrupting, unforgiving but ultimately joyous addiction—an addiction not just to the ferox, but to the truly wild waterscapes they inhabit.  No fellow angler could be unimpressed; no ordinary human will quite believe it.’
Chris Yates, writer and eccentric angler.

‘This quest for a sense of belonging comes with dreams of great fishes.  Mr Berry has written a beautiful, haunted poem of friendship and obsession.’ Jeff Barrett, Caught By The Water.

Published 6th June 2011, £14.99 hardback ISBN: 978-0-7524-5837-3 - CLICK HERE

E Book 6th June, £14.99 ISBN: 978-0-7524-6395-7 - CLICK HERE