Monthly Archives: June 2014

  • Irish and Scottish Game Fairs

    The van and trailer are loaded and today we're setting off to Northern Ireland for the game fair at Shane's Castle, Antrim, 28th and 29th of June. After the weekend we'll be making our way across to Scotland to set up for the Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace on the 4th, 5th and 6th of July. We hope to see you there.

    Despite rushing around packing the van Paul has found time to track down a few good new books and some great bargains. Keep an eye on the newest listings section for details.

    Details of a few below:

    Wet-Fly Tying and Fishing by Roger FoggWet-Fly Tying and Fishing
    by Roger Fogg

    Roger Fogg presents a detailed exposition of the wet-fly, giving much of its history and the varying opinions and experiences of its proponents, as well as much material on patterns and tying. This is complemented by an equally detailed account of fishing techniques and methods.

    Published price £25.00. Special Coch-y-Bonddu Books price now only £9.95!

    Fly-Fishing in Ireland
    by Thomas Hanna

    Tommy Hanna of Moneymore was an innovative and imaginative fly-dresser. He corresponded with Skues, Harding and McClelland, and Courtney Williams devotes two pages to his patterns, comparing him favourably with Skues - "...but the Irishman has more imagination." A classic of Irish angling and fly-tying. Originally published in 1933, this new edition, published in 2003, was limited to 1,000 copies and has now sold out with the publisher. We can offer the last few copies at a bargain price.

    Published price £30.00. Special Coch-y-Bonddu Books price £9.95!

    Fishing in Grayling Paradise by Karel KrivanecFishing in Grayling Paradise
    by Karel Krivanec

    Tales of flyfishing for grayling, and the occasional trout, on the Vltava River in the region of the Sumava mountains in the Czech Republic by noted Czech angling author, Karel Krivanec. The stories were all written between 2001 and 2010 and take place on the upper section of the river known as the Warm Vltava, from its confluence with the Grassy Vltava (Rasnice) in Lenora to the confluence with the Cold Vltava near Smolna Pec.
    First published in Czech in 2010, this new English translation is limited to only 500 copies. We have a handful of copies now but the main stock should arrive with us very soon.

    Mint new paperback limited to 500 copies only. Price £14.95

    Life of a Chalkstream
    by Simon Cooper

    This delightful book records a year in the life of an essentially English waterscape, one that is home to a vast array of wildlife and natural habitat of the keen angler - the chalkstream. Simon Cooper grew up in Hampshire, where he first fell in love with fly fishing. Only after moving away did he realise how little people knew about the secret world of the chalkstreams. Chalkstreams are nearly exclusive to England, ranging from Dorset to Yorkshire and including the famous River Test in Hampshire. Every river is special in its own right. Life of a Chalkstream is a lyrical and revealing voyage through the yearly cycle of this unique waterway. From the remarkable spectacle of salmon, sea trout and brown trout spawning in winter, to the emergence of water voles in spring and the explosion of mayflies in the early days of summer, the author evocatively describes the natural wonders of the chalkstream. He introduces us to the fascinating diversity of life that inhabits its the wildlife. We learn how neglect threatens these inhabitants and why the fight to save the chalkstreams is so vital, not only for fishermen, but for anybody who values the beauty of rural England.

    Mint in dust-wrapper. Price £16.99.

    All Born with a Hunter's Instinct by Paul DooleyAll Born with a Hunter's Instinct
    by Paul Dooley

    Following the success of Paul's first book, Stormy Nights and Frosty Mornings, he's back to recount more of his adventures in the field with his lurchers, terriers, ferrets and hawks. Launched at the Welsh Game Fair, all of our copies have been signed by the author

    Mint new hardback. Signed by the author. Price £22.50.

  • Wednesday 25th June 2014 - Gypsy barbel

    Well, we publishers have to put up with the stresses of jetting around the world for meetings with our sensitive authors. The retiring Mr Paul Hogan insisted that the only place we could meet was on an Andalucian riverbank, so I had no choice but to comply.

    Irish jig charms gypsy barbel Irish jig charms gypsy barbel

    Andalucian gypsy barbel Andalucian gypsy barbel 










    In between our high-powered talks we sight-fished, casting nymphs for beautiful gypsy barbel - I even caught one on a dry fly.

    Then Ceri dragged me off to sample the depravities (or at least the tapas) of Malaga. She couldn't understand why the highpoint for me was finding the corpse of a greater spotted cuckoo in the cathedral garden.

    A four-hour delay on the plane journey home at least meant that I got some proof-reading done.
    ... and now I'm off to Ireland.

  • Shore Fishing: A guide to Cardigan Bay - reviews

    Shore Fishing
    A guide to Cardigan Bay
    Includes detailed fish ID guide
    By John Mason

    Mint new hardback. Signed by the author. £14.95

    "We were pleasantly surprised when we read this book. We thought it would just be another guide written about a multitude of marks in a specific area with some generalisation on how to fish them and what to expect. We were wrong.

    The book covers a whole lot more than just marks. Whilst the book is called Shore Fishing: A guide to Cardigan Bay – a lot of the topics discussed are relevant to all areas of the UK and anglers everywhere. It is an excellent guide to the tactics and fish species available in the area. It also covers other topics useful to the angler that other guidebooks struggle with, such as the geological history of the bay. Allowing the angler to fully understand the ground they are fishing and how it was formed.

    The narrative as John moves from one end of the bay to the other is entertaining, fun and factual and is an inspiration to read for any budding angler looking to explore the Cardigan Bay coast. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable read that covers the tactics, fish and marks in Cardigan Bay beautifully." (, click here to read the full review).


    "Lovely book. Hope it helps son to find the right places for the fish. so far not too much to eat.. :-) But seems to be very informative and precise, especially to the non angling Mum." (Julie Langford, Amazon review, 21st of December 2013).

    "Fantastic detail. A very good read detailing the coastline and its history in one volume. A must for anyone new to this coastline." (Barry W. Cox, Amazon review, 15th of August 2013).

  • Thursday 19th June 2014 - We're all off to sunny Spain

    Yes, it's true. I have an important meeting with author, Paul Hogan, tomorrow. Unfortunately he happens to live in Andalucia so that's where I've got to go. Ceri is coming along to carry my fishing tackle. Well - I have to do some research while I'm there.

    During the years when it was awkward to illustrate this diary I accumulated lots of interesting photographs. Better late than never - I'll resurrect one from time to time. Here is the first - illustrating how two trout from the same spot can be preoccupied with completely different food items. Both took a big sedge off the top. And here is their captor - in the days when I only had a few flies in my hat.

    A brace of Gwyddior trout, both caught on the big sedge. A brace of Gwyddior trout, both caught on the great red sedge.


  • Wednesday June 14th 2014 - post-Welsh

    You know what they say about rats? Well, at the Welsh Game Fair "You're never more than six feet away from a countryside writer."

    A brace of lurcher authors with their books. Simon Fairclough with "The Lurcher in Field, Fen, Forest and Scrub," and Paul Dooley with "All Born with a Hunter's Instinct," pictured at the launch of Paul's book on the Coch-y-Bonddu Books stand at the Welsh Game Fair on 14th June 2014 A brace of lurcher authors with their books: Simon Fairclough with "The Lurcher in Field, Fen, Forest and Scrub," and Paul Dooley with "All Born with a Hunter's Instinct," pictured at the launch of Paul's book on the Coch-y-Bonddu Books stand at the Welsh Game Fair 2014.

    Paul Dooley signing copies of his book at the launch of "All Born with a Hunter's Instinct." Welsh Game Fair 2014 Paul Dooley signing copies of "All Born with a Hunter's Instinct." Luke supervising while Jane does all the work!


  • Friday 13th June 2014 - Off to the Welsh

    My new (replacement) greenhouse is up and stocked. The next few weeks will be pretty hectic so I've been working until dark every evening to get all the tomatoes and cucumbers planted out.
    We had a day after the black bream earlier this week. Despite some sea-sickness and sunburn in the ranks we caught a few bream so the day must count as a success. Unfortunately the mackerel, their prey, and their predators, are all pretty scarce. I was hoping to see legions of shearwaters and gannets, as well as bringing home a feed of mackerel. Let's hope this just another vagary of the changing seasons, and not a long-term trend. We were followed by some storm petrels, which was delightful, and I guess we caught twelve or fourteen different species of fish, so the day did have some interest.
    The sparrows have had a reprieve as a number of readers have pointed out that that they are now protected by law. Good job I was especially kind to them! I'm sure they'll put in a good word for me.
    I'm just about to leave for the Welsh Game Fair - at its new location at Pembrey Country Park on the South Wales coast - and the sun is shining!

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