Monthly Archives: April 2014

  • Falconry Fair 2014 - this weekend

    The British Falconry Fair 2014

    This bank holiday weekend Coch-y-Bonddu Books will be at the British Falconry Fair 2014. We'll have the widest range of new, second-hand and antiquarian falconry books available along with a selection of other sporting and countryside books. Come along and see us. If you can't make it this weekend then the next best thing may be a browse through the falconry section on our website, over 900 books available - click here.

    "The 2014 British Falconry & Raptor Fair - that organisers call the UK's Premier Falconry and Hawking Event - is being held at a new venue this year- Chetwynd Park, Newport, Shropshire on the Bank Holiday Weekend of Sunday 4th May and Monday 5th May. The event is being held in beautiful Shropshire countryside, and promises to be a fantastic two-day family-fun weekend which will showcase some great entertainment.

    Latham's Falconry - limited edition setSponsored by Kiezebrink, this year’s Falconry Fair celebrates its’ 25th anniversary, and will be host to specialist exhibitors from across the UK; Europe and North America. Visitors can find out everything they need to know about falconry, from the art of flying; rearing, breeding, management, conservation, art, equipment, telemetry and of course see some premier falcons and raptors. They will also be able to take part in some hands-on falconry workshops. In addition to a superb static display of trained hawks and falcons there will also be several trained hunting eagles on static display.

    An eagle display titled ‘The World of Eagles’ will be co-ordinated by the British Falconers Club giving visitors the opportunity to experience the majesty of the eagle close-up. There will also be an extensive programme of stunning flying demonstrations and displays by the best falconers, including the internationally-renowned Jemima Parry Jones, MBE, and famous falconer Bob Dalton. Informative exhibitions by the Hawk Board, Raptor Rescue and the Campaign for Falconry, and major national countryside organisations will add to the ingredients for a fantastic weekend... all part of the world’s premier falconry event for 2014.

    Falconry's Falconer by Richard Fitzgerald


    The Harris's Hawk Revolution by Jennifer and Tim Coulson

  • Saturday 26th April 2014 - Broody hens

    Well, I misjudged Broody Number Two. She seemed to take a couple of days longer than she should have, but she brought off six out of six. I just put them together with the first lot, and they joined forces immediately, the chicks just diving under the nearest hen.2014-04-26 13.25.36
    My third silkie is also sitting now, so she can go in the coop the others have finished with.
    All the computers are fully manned at the office so I've come home and planted out my tomato plants. The greenhouse is getting pretty crowded as we are still waiting for the replacement for the one that blew up in the gales. We're making full use of the coldframes, though, with lots of stuff to plant out once Ceri has finished digging the garden!

  • Friday 25th April 2014 - Fishing Llyn Clywedog

    I took a day off yesterday! Despite sunny spells, the wind is still in the east so I decided to target the Clywedog rainbows rather than risking the temperamental brownies of the hills. My first osprey of the season was just disappearing over the hill as I arrived, and the wheatears were bobbing along the roadside. As the afternoon warmed up - and the fishing improved - I thought I heard the gargle of an incipient cuckoo; then about 3pm he managed a couple of full-blown "cuc-koos." It was probably the earliest I have ever heard one, but then I'm not on the hill that often, and we seldom hear them down here in the valleys.
    By this time there were a few fish rising but they wouldn't come to the small dropper flies, grabbing the heavy nymph on the point every time. A couple of them were overwintered rainbows of three pounds or so, both fighting furiously, but I also caught a couple of half-pound brownies on the nymph. At one point I saw what I first took to be a mink or otter swimming across the arm of the lake. It was making quite a noise as it swam, and, catching a flash of foxy red, I realised that it was a stoat, doggy-paddling splashily but quite fast across the bay.
    I thought Broody Number Two was going to be a failure - yesterday morning, a day or two late by my reckoning, there was one feeble chick and one egg just pipping. However I took a peek when I got home last night and could see several healthy chicks peeping out from under her wings. I don't know how many yet - I'll go and move them into a grass run now, before I set the smoker up for those trout.

  • Great Days Extra - Des Taylor

    Great Days Extra by Des Taylor

    Great Days Extra
    By Des Taylor

    Arriving just too late to go into our last newsletter is the latest book from one of angling's best all-rounders. There are tales of all the usual coarse species (including many huge specimens!) together with a few slightly more exotic species such as mahseer, halibut, huge skate and cod and even a few sharks. A great read.

    Mint new paperback. Published price £15.00. Special Coch-y-Bonddu Books price just £5.95 or signed by the author for just £7.95!

    We also still have a few copies of the hardback first edition. This was limited to only 550 copies and I believe there aren't too many left. Price £30.00.

  • Monday 21st April 2014 - Anglesey

    I'm obviously getting tune with nature: the first swallow arrived here on my birthday last week; and then our first brood of chicks arrived on Easter morning. I reckon I can now accurately predict snow on Christmas Day.
    An overnight trip to Anglesey to see brother Jim and his family was great fun. However the decision to visit Newborough Warren on Good Friday wasn't so great. Last time I went there, (only forty years ago), it was a forestry track down to the dunes. Today it is a major tourist attraction with hordes of Easter visitors - At high water there was hardly room for them all on the beach. We escaped to the peace of the Tunnicliffe Gallery (no tourists there!) where I enjoyed seeing the original paintings of some of Charles Tunnicliffe's very familiar images.

  • Hooked on Floats - last few copies


    Hooked on Floats
    Vintage and antique fishing floats from 1860 - 1960
    A collector's companion

    By Jeff Della Mura

    De luxe leather-bound edition

    We have just managed to get hold of the very last few copies of this superb book from Jeff Della Mura. The standard cloth-bound edition, limited to 340 copies, has now completely sold out and copies are already changing hands for three figure sums. We have just a few copies of the de luxe leather-bound edition available and we are able to offer them at the original cover price of £210.

    This de luxe book is limited to only 60 signed and numbered copies. It is half-bound in red leather over marbled boards and is presented in a red cloth-bound slipcase. Each copy of the de luxe edition comes with a piece of original artwork used in the production of the book or unique author's concept sketches. Click here to see the listing on our website.

    HookedOnFloatsDeluxe HookedOnFloatsQuills

     Vintage fishing floats are becoming hard to find and are increasingly expensive. Sure indicators that interest and the need for knowledge are growing. Hooked on Floats is a timely arrival. The book is not a direct history of floats, nor is it a treatise on their design or use. It is intended as a collector’s companion and features much needed identification and chronology sourced from numerous makers’ catalogues.

    Hooked on Floats is focused on fishing floats dating from 1860 to 1960, the period from which most material can be found. Though it is primarily concerned with British floats the book also takes a meandering tour of some select international examples.

    The bulk of the floats shown in Hooked on Floats are from the author’s collection. He has been absorbed by angling’s most humble artefact for more than a decade and was anointed in one radio broadcast as England’s most obsessive float collector. But there are other, likeminded souls. Indeed the opening chapter offers the personal reflections of a number of float enthusiasts – some being very familiar names in the world of angling – who share their memories, their thoughts and their favourites.

    One determined ambition is that the book should visually entertain. Rather than rely upon dry illustrations lifted from vintage catalogues or patent drawings it has been designed around quality photography of real floats - of wood grain, of aging paint, and even of repairs. Consequently most of the pictures show floats in a realistic condition. The aim being to invoke a sense of nostalgic connection – to enable a metaphoric handshake with an angler or float maker who may be long gone.

    Throughout the book much care has been taken to keep the visual pace fresh and to include pleasurable context in the form of angling memorabilia, vintage packaging, tackle shop photographs, old postcards, trade graphics and so on. Hooked on Floats will appeal to anyone who remembers that crystalline moment when for the very first time their own float disappeared from view - and in so doing, sowed a seed that influenced a lifetime.


  • Underwater Angling - bargain price

    Underwater Angling by Paul Garner and Stuart MorganUnderwater Angling
    by Paul Garner and Stuart Morgan

    We have just taken the stock of the last few copies of this excellent coarse angling book from Paul Garner and Stuart Morgan.

    This is a superb new book from freelance writer, photographer and angling consultant Dr Paul Garner, and twice barbel record-holder and underwater film maker Stuart Morgan. Illustrated with hundreds of full-colour underwater photographs of rigs, baits and fish, showing what really goes on beneath the surface. Advanced tips and techniques from two of the most successful and forward-thinking anglers in the modern specimen angling scene.

    Originally published at £24.99.

    We can offer these last few copies at the special Coch-y-Bonddu price of just £12.95!

    Below are a few images from inside the book to give you a bit of a taster. There are excellent underwater photographs throughout.

  • Thursday 10th April 2014 - Thousands more books!

    Thought I'd let you know what I'm uncovering as we fill the shelves in the new container.

    I have opened about twenty boxes from the hidden Californian horde. The books are high quality flyfishing and fly-tying, with an emphasis on the USA. The British stuff is already well represented on the website, but there are an awful lot, probably over a thousand, American flyfishing books to get through. At least now they are out on shelves I can see what I've got, and if you are looking for anything in particular I will be able to find it.

    I have big-game hunting books stashed in three different locations - again, over a thousand titles. Yesterday we began the process of bringing them together on shelves. There are a lot of rare and collectable books among them, as well as plenty of old favourites - Corbett, Anderson, Hunter, Capstick and the like.

    This process of consolidation is showing just how many copies we have of many titles. There are many good books which I have assiduously pursued through auctions and bookfairs over the past thirty years. Now I can see them all together on the shelf I am shocked to find that in some cases I have accumulated twenty or thirty copies of what I have always claimed was a scarce book! One result of this is that I am reducing the prices of many titles in an effort to thin them out a bit. If you keep an eye on the Newest Listings section on the home-page of this list you will see many of these bargains.

    Two of my three silkies (despite months of doubt, all three turned out to be pullets) are now broody and sitting on Welsummer eggs. The eggs are big and the fowl are small, so they've only got half a dozen each. They must be happy to be sitting in dry hay after paddling around in mud for the last six months. There's nothing sadder than a wet silkie!

    Four rabbits racing around the field yesterday. I think they have an inherited disposition to avoid my end of the field. After all, any of their ancestors that encroached closer than fifty yards finished in the pot - or the frying pan if they hadn't yet attained puberty.

    Broody silkies Broody silkies

  • Tuesday 8th April 2014 - yet another container!

    I couldn't stop myself - the space outside my warehouse was perfect for yet another forty-foot shipping container. A quick flash of the credit-card and three days later, there it was, along with eighty feet of six-foot-high racking. All that empty shelf-space!
    Straight away I saw the benefit. In 2005 I was browsing a Californian auction site on the Internet. The auction was actually taking place and I realised that I could bid, live, on-line. All lots were well illustrated so I sat up half the night and bought half the lots in the sale. Forty big boxes of books arrived a few weeks later and were consigned, unopened, to a dark corner because no-one had time to catalogue them, and in any case, where were we going to put them? Today I started opening them - it was just like Christmas!

    Too early for mountain brownies, but not for stockie rainbows, so Tonto and I headed for the hills a couple of days ago and bashed a few nice silver two-pounders. Just like the old days! It will probably be my only rainbow fishing trip of the season - it will soon be warm enough to stir the real trouts.

    Checked out our secret trout pond on 1st April. We thought there were fish rising everywhere, but it turned out to be lots of toads having a ball.

    2014-04-01 13.46.32

  • Fields of Dreams - signed copies in stock

    Fields of Dreams by Lord James Percy

    Fields of Dreams
    A journey of sporting passion
    by Lord James Percy

    Over the past few months this book has been selling very well indeed. We have recently obtained a small stock of new, unread copies that have been signed by Lord Percy and can offer them at the cover price of just £30.00.

    Growing up in the wilds of Northumberland and Scotland, James Percy has enjoyed a privileged life dominated by sporting adventures. He shares his deep respect for the Great British countryside and his passion for conservation, wildlife, shooting and fishing in a series of beautifully written essays. He recalls sepia-tinted memories of childhood trips to river banks and moorland, and his developing love affairs with pigeons, grouse, salmon, trout... family dogs and girls. Now married with four children, his young family plays a big part in his sporting life. Home, at Linhope, in Northumberland, is also the base for the grouse, pheasant and partridge shoots that he has painstakingly developed since the 1980s. Snapshot entries from some of his 2007 and 2008 diary pages highlight the heartache, triumphs and disasters that shoots endure in this part of the world. But shooting and fishing are only part of the story. James Percy is first and foremost a passionate countryman and he writes not so much about the numbers of game or weight of fish, but the very essence of the creatures, traditions and characters. It is a colourful mosaic of unapologetic nostalgia, quiet comedy and Northumbrian humour – the hard truths and gentle reflections of a northern countryman’s way of life.

    Mint new copy in dust-wrapper. Signed by the author. £30.00

    Lord James Percy signing copies of his new book, Fields of Dreams Lord James Percy signing copies of his new book, Fields of Dreams

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