Author: Richard Walker and Maurice Ingham
Reviewed by: Spindle
In 1949, two articles in the then popular Fishing Gazette, prompted an unknown angler, Maurice Ingham, to write a letter to their author, a certain Richard Walker. What followed was a regular and uninterrupted stream of letters between the two men discussing all manner of angling issues.
Carp fishing, tackle construction, trout fishing, fly-tying and entomology, discussion on new tackle of the day, it’s all here. At the same time, there are wonderful, and sometimes amusing, little insights into their lives (RW: “My wife duly produced her twin boys with amazing non-chalance on Good Friday. I went off and caught a brace of trout, 1lb and 1.75lb to celebrate”)
It is incredible that both men kept the letters, and it is most fortunate for us that it was suggested that they could become a book.
Many of Richard Walker’s books are very technical, how-to biased. However, in this book he also shows his human side, and his keenness and generosity in sharing his immense knowledge. The relationship between the anglers at the start of the book is very much the master (Richard) and the pupil (Maurice). However, by the end of the book a close friendship has developed (Mr. Walker and Mr. Ingham have been replaced by “Richard” and “Maurice”) and they show a mutual admiration for one another.
There is just so much fascinating information in this book, and at the same time it is simply wonderful to read. My particular copy, a 4th edition, I understand to be a poor relation to earlier editions • original pictures were not included apparently, and the picture on the dustcover looks like two black and white photos coloured in blue crayon • but this doesn’t detract from the quality of the text.
It’s definitely one of the three books I would take with me to a desert island. Highly recommended!
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Thanks to Steve Burke of Classic Fishing Books for the cover scan.