Coch-y-Bonddu Books

News and reviews from Coch-y-Bonddu Books

  • Monday March 4th 2019 - The Angler's Bookshelf

    No 8 in The Angler's Bookshelf series in April Trout & Salmon magazine - W.H. Lawrie.

    The Angler's Bookshelf No. 8 - W H Lawrie

  • Thursday 7th February 2019 - the year so far.

    Kitchen appliances have been busy all winter - the dehydrator for mushrooms and fruit, the mincing machine for pheasant burgers, and the vacuum packer all the time. Picking up on a pheasant shoot twice a week left little time for other sport, but did provide an abundance of game.
    Unwarranted restrictions on access to the estuary completely curtailed my wildfowling activities, though I made a point of doing more evening inland flighting as a result. It looks to me as though the insidious attacks by officials of NRW, the RSPB, and others will eventually succeed, as people like myself are discouraged from our once solitary sport by the fear of  conflict and confrontation. I just want to spend the dusk out with dog and gun, and it is easier to just go elsewhere. And, as we get older, it just gets to be too much hassle and hard work. It is sad that these pursuits will not be available to youngsters in the future who, if they have any interest in sport at all, will only know the wholly artificial world of reared pheasants (and, even worse, reared ducks).
    Fishing is going the same way, with even lifelong anglers of my age saying that they would never kill a wild trout - or a grayling or sea-trout, (or a bass or mullet or perch or pike or gudgeon ) and interfering officials seeking to ban the taking of fish for the table. What nonsense! When any of these creatures are in abundance - as they very frequently are - then it is perfectly sensible and acceptable to take a harvest, and to be able to justify our sport by doing so.
    See - as soon as I starting talking about sport I go off on a rant! I'd better shut up.

  • Thursday 7th February 2019 - Game Fair & Fly Fair update

    I leave here tomorrow morning for the BFFI - by far the best flyfishing fair in the UK. The van is full of goodies for the discerning flyfisher.

    Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the Danish Fly Fair in Kolding this year. It used to be easy when there was a ferry from Harwich. The last few times I have driven all the way from Machynlleth to Kolding, but it is a heck of a long drive. And this year the fair is very early so I wouldn't even have the prospect of good fishing to look forward to.

    I have not made a decision about either of the big game fairs - The Game Fair and the Midland Game Fair. I have not booked either, and have talked to the organisers of both about the difficulty and expense of taking a large stand. At this stage neither have come back to me, so I have to doubt their interest in having a high quality book stand at their events. I'd like to have a presence, but have decided that I no longer want to subsidise these people - if they want me there they have to show some flexibility.

    The Scottish Game Fair is a similar problem. The organisers have absolutely no interest in having a bookseller there, so I stopped taking my own marquee several years ago. However, I enjoy going north to meet my friends and customers, so recently I have been taking space in the Flyfishing Marquee. This year we hope to be launching Stan Headley's new book - Reflections on Loch Fishing at Scone.

    I WILL be at the West Country Game Fair and at both of the Irish Game Fairs. The organisers of these fairs are realistic, understanding the work and expense of carrying a bookshop around the country. They are also expert at the kind of mutual promotion, through competitions and sponsorship, that is good for all of us. And if I have to spend most of June in the west of Ireland, then so be it! And I will be back in Galway for the Irish Fly Fair in November - with another major book launch planned!

    I have attended every Falconry Fair for over 25 years. Unfortunately it has now been absorbed by Countryman Fairs and last year's event was merely part of one of their country fairs, with hardly any real falconers in attendance. Charlie Heap's northern event clashes with Ireland, and Jemima doesn't seem to be doing anything this year, so it doesn't look as though I will get to a serious falconry event in 2019.

    I will be at the Grayling Society Symposium as usual, and I will try to get to some of the small tackle fairs during the year - though that may depend on the organisers' enthusiasm for having a book stall.

  • Monday 4th February 2019 - THE ANGLER'S BOOKSHELF

    No 6 in The Angler's Bookshelf series in February Trout & Salmon magazine - Reg Righyni.

    Reg Righyni









    No sooner had I posted this than the March issue turned up:


    No 5 in The Angler's Bookshelf series in January Trout & Salmon magazine - Kingsmill Moore.

    Kingsmill Moore price guide

  • Saturday 24th November 2018 - The Angler's Bookshelf

    No 4 in The Angler's Bookshelf series in December Trout & Salmon magazine - Alfred Courtney Williams.

    The Angler's Bookshelf No 4 - Alfred Courtney Williams

  • Saturday 3rd November - time for some sport

    After weeks of working on my catalogue I am planning to get away from my desk more from now on. Today was our first day at the pheasants in Llanbrynmair, and a splendid day it was! The weather held fine and we have a great stock of birds - everyone shot well and we had a fine bag.
    I finished the day by taking some corn to a small flight pond that I have discovered. An odd mixture of woodcock and bats were flying around as I arrived in the dusk, but I left both in peace, instead bagging a rabbit. I don't get many bunnies and was pleased when my snap-shot at its bobbing scut bowled it over. Then I waited to see if anything was visiting the pond and was rewarded with a brace of mallards. Rico had a lot of work this morning so I'm glad his rabbit and the ducks off the pond in the darkness were straightforward retrieves. He's sustained a few cuts and bruises today, but will have a week to recover before our next day out.
    I'm off to the Fly Fair in Galway next weekend, but after that I hope to be either be shooting or picking up several times as week - and then I need to go grayling fishing!

  • Newsletter 1st November 2018

    Coch-y-Bonddu Books Autumn Newsletter

    Paul is just putting the finishing touches to our annual catalogue before heading off to the Irish Fly Fair in Galway on 10/11th November. By the time he gets home you should be seeing the catalogue popping through the letterbox. In the meantime here are a few of the great books that have been turning up in the last few weeks.

    Tales of the Big Game Hunters

    Incidents from an Elephant Hunter's Diary
    by W.D.M. Bell

    A brand new compilation of Karamojo Bell's short stories, all previously unpublished. Once again the legendary Karamojo Bell marches through the wilds of Africa - traversing a land virtually untouched by modern civilization in search of adventure and ivory.

    Mint new hardback in dust-wrapper. £35.00

    £35.00 £35.00 £35.00 £50.00

    Last Horizons
    Hunting, Shooting and Fishing on Five Continents

    by Peter Hathaway Capstick

    A good selection of Capstick's otherwise unobtainable magazine articles. From adventures with Cape Buffalo and lions to bow-fishing in Brazil. An excellent book now available at a great price.

    Mint new hardback in dust-wrapper. Previous price £19.95.
    Now only £9.95!

    Was £25.00
    Now only £9.95!
    Was £25.00
    Now only £19.95!
    Was £29.95
    Now only £19.95!
    Was £50.00
    Now only £25.00!
    UK Game Shooting, working dogs and other field sports
    The Pigeon Shooter's Diary
    by Tom Payne

    Tom Payne commences his Pigeon Shooter's Diary commences descriptions of the quarry species, equipment and accessories followed by an in-depth guide to fieldcraft, reconnaissance and shooting instruction. The Diary runs through the calendar year detailing the different techniques and skills needed for the changing conditions, all topped off with personal observations and special days in the field.

    Mint new hardback in dust-wrapper. Previous price £20.00.
    Now only £7.95!

    BASC Handbooks:
    Pest and Predator Control

    This comprehensive and practical book provides a basic guide to all aspects of control. There is detailed guidance on shooting, snaring, trapping, the use of dogs and humane dispatch. The law governing pest species is covered in detail, particularly with regard to the general licences which are frequently misunderstood. Detailed instructions are provided on the effective and legal use of snares and traps with photographic sequences to show how they should be sited and set. An invaluable guide for all those involved in pest and predator control.

    Mint new hardback. Previous price £16.95.
    Now only £7.95!

    Was £19.95
    Now only £9.95!
    Was £19.95
    Now only £9.95!
    Was £19.95
    Now only £9.95!
    Was £19.95
    Now only £9.95!
    Just published!

    New stock is coming in almost every day at the moment. Pictured below are a few recently published titles such as George Daniel's latest book, Nymph Fishing, and the superb (and huge!) four volume falconry set, Raptor and Human. If you wish to keep up to date on all of the latest books as soon as they beome available then keep an eye on the Newest Listings section of our website - updated daily.

    £19.95 £14.99 £35.00 £150.00
    And finally, coming soon...

    Several new books are due from the printers in the next month. They are not available yet, but will be in plenty of time for Christmas! These include a new Coch-y-Bonddu Books edition of Colin Willock's classic wildfowling book, Kenzie: The Wild-Goose Man. An excellent new book on the history of punt-gunning and wildfowling titled Saltwater, Webbed Feet and Blackpowder by John Richards and Julian Novorol; and, due to popular demand, a revised new edition of Colin Innes' already sought-after and collectible book on Dee salmon flies, The Lost Salmon Flies of Balmoral.

    £19.95 £40.00 £20.00
  • Tuesday 16th October 2018 - The Angler's Bookshelf

    Paul is writing a monthly fishing book price-guide for Trout and Salmon Magazine. It's pretty basic, but a good opportunity to pass on some information about books. Here are the first three. Click on the image for greater detail.

    Sidney Spencer price guide

    Richard Waddington price guide

    Hugh Falkus price guide

  • Monday 3rd September 2018

    Slippery Jacks and assorted boletes Slippery Jacks and assorted boletes

    Autumn has come to Mid-Wales and suddenly the woods are full of fungi. This year two of my most productive woods have been clear-felled but yesterday another spot yielded a great flush of Slippery Jacks and other assorted boletes, plus a few chanterelles. The best find (not photographed unfortunately) was a mass of Hen of the Woods. I wasn't 100% sure, but I am now - and they taste great. Luckily there are lots more, and they are quite young, so I'll be back. Five trays in the dehydrator and a pan-full for breakfast!
    Another success is dried shrimps. I took Dewi down to the shore on a poor tide, hoping for shrimps. Not sure whether it was the small tide or the lateness of the season but the grey shrimps were not around. There were plenty of prawns though, and I put a tray of the smallest of them in the dehydrator. Instant umami!

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