• A few reviews of our books and service

    Below you will find a small selection of reviews for titles published by Coch-y-Bonddu Books and The Flyfisher's Classic Library. Please click the relevant link below to be taken directly to reviews for the book you are interested in.

    If you would like to read a few recent customer comments on our service please scroll to the bottom of this post.

    Book reviews:

    Fly Fishing Outside the Box. By Peter Hayes

    Flyfishing the Welsh Borderlands. By Roger Smith

    Lure Fishing. By Dave Pugh.

    Muntjac. By Charles Smith-Jones

    Poles Apart. By Michael Nadell

    Redfin Diaries. By Mark Everard

    Salmon Flies: Past and Present. By Henk van Bork

    Shore Fishing: A guide to Cardigan Bay. By John Mason

    The Essential Kelson. Compiled and edited by Terry Griffiths

    The North Country Fly: Yorkshire's soft hackle tradition. By Robert L. Smith.

    Tied in the Hand. By Sven-Olov Hard

    Water Colours. By Maurice Pledger.

    While My Float's Still Cocked. By Maurice Pledger.

    Recent customer comments on our service:

    "I have just received my book 'Angling with the Fly' ordered 11 May.

    It is an excellent book and a real bargain at £9.95.
    I am mainly contacting you for the packing of the book which is, without doubt, the best I have ever experienced! ( and I order a lot of books - mainly military history and angling ).

    Thanks again and my congratulations to your packer!
    I have no doubt that I will be ordering again before long!" (P.V. 14th of May 2015)

    "Fastest delivery of any item i have sent for from any online services." (J.D. 22nd of April 2015)

    "this is how book-selling should be done: amazingly efficient, high quality books, beautifully packaged. way beyond first class service. thanks once again!" (D.F. 1st of April 2015)

    "Recent direct order for a couple of books arrived this morn in smart time, wonderfully packed, and exactly as described, or better. Thanks for great service!" (R.E. 10th of March 2015)

    "My three volumes of 'The British Shotgun' arrived safely today - beautifully packaged and very rapidly sent. Thank you very much indeed." (J.W. 6th of January 2015)

    "Safely received and full marks for the packaging :) Triple wrapped for protection, nice touch! and so much better than another parcel I received today. Thank you :)" (C.N. 19th of December 2014)

    "I received my most recent order yesterday . As usual it was a joy to receive, not only the contents themselves but un-wrapping the parcel that has been meticulously prepared is always a moment of pleasure and says so much about how you care for the publications and you customers. Working on my Christmas list!" (I.R. 2nd of November 2014)

    "I am very pleased with the book. It came very quickly using a royal mail tracked service. It seems Paul Morgan and his team have managed to improve on their already, first class buying experience. If you're interested in shooting or fishing books do not hesitate to buy from this top class seller, you will not be disappointed, thank you." (R.C. 12th of August 2014)

    "I have always had the same personal and excellent service from coch-y-bonddu books and cannot recommend them highly enough and always make a beeline for their stand at the CLA and Fenland fairs." (C.S. 19th of June 2014)

    "As usual all the books i have received from this seller have been wrapped to perfection." (A.E. 13th of June 2014)

    "It was really wonderful to receive a book from you yesterday properly wrapped in the old fashioned way in brown paper. I will be using the paper to wrap around the tin of the next fruit cake I cook!  Thank you." (C.A. 3rd of June 2014)

    "Sir / madam,
    I have just received 4 books from your store and wanted to take the time to send you an email to express my delight not only at the quality of the books, but also the unbelievably thorough manner in which they were wrapped, protected and dispatched..
    An utter delight .. Please rest assured I will be coming back to you for repeat orders and will also circulate to fellow enthusiasts.
    With best regards and thanks once again." (J.B. 28th of May 2014)


    "Spectacular 24 hr service,Highly recommended." (J.T. 10th of May 2014)

    "As usual, excellent service, books in better condition than described. Thank You." (N.R. 26th of April 2014)

    "Very fast delivery and was a retirement present for a colleague who was over the moon with it. Just wish i had ordered it sooner from this vendor as i originally ordered it from Amazon who i waited for six months to deliver it only to have another change of delivery date which would of meant i was going to have to wait eight months. Well done coch-y-bonddu you beat the big boys. " (A.B. 20th of March 2014)

    "An excellent birthday present for a serious carp fisherman. Delivery came before estimated date. Packaging was excellent and wrapped up nicely inside to. Excellent service thankyou 😊x" (H.R. 1st of March 2014)

    "Prompt delivery, extremely well packaged. Recommended as a long standing customer of coch-y-bonddu - still as good as ever. Thank you." (I.B. 21st of February 2014)

    "Excellent service once again and superb packaging. Thank you" (W.N. 17th of February 2014)

    "The book arrived in perfect condition, thanks to some excellent protective packaging. Prompt service and a really interesting read for all historically minded fly-tyers . Thank you very much. Keep up the good work!" (R.P. 4th of February 2014)

    "Outstanding transaction and very fast delivery across the pond." (A.A. 26th of January 2014)

    "Very quick delivery. Item well packed and protected. Good price for perfect item. This seller has never let me down. Highly recommended." (A.E. 25th of January 2014)

    "Ordered one day, arrived the next. really pleased with service and wouldn't hesitate to use again. Thank you." (L.J. 24th of January 2014)

    "Not only have coch-y-bonddu succeeded in locating a small hidden stock of a very rare book, they also put it on the market at a very reasonable price and deliver promptly. Thank you for, so far, four years of perfect service from Machynlleth to Denmark." (I.A. 13th of January 2014)

    "Have used this company several times and they are brilliant. Would not hesitate to recommend them. Books come beautifully packaged and ALWAYS arrive by due date, often before. They have always had stock of the books I am looking for - all in all a 1st class service - well done!" (E.I. 10th of January 2014)

    "A hardback book which arrived PROPERLY packed in a cardboard sleeve. I wish other sellers would learn that this is the only way to send a book to avoid damage." (M.C. 30th of December 2013)

  • While My Float's Still Cocked - reviews

    While My Float's Still Cocked
    The ramblings of an artist-angler
    By Maurice J. Pledger

    High quality paperback with flaps. £19.95
    Cloth-bound hardback in dust-wrapper limited to 250 signed and numbered copies. £SOLD OUT
    De luxe leather-bound edition incorporating handmade porcupine quill float by Paul Cook. £395.00

    "Lovely book." (Amazon customer, 26th of November 2015)

    "Good book with lovely pictures." (Denise Hyslop, Amazon review, 8th of January 2015)

    "This book is a must read for all passionate anglers and will take you back to when you started fishing and remind you of the reasons that you are still fishing today. The author is also a dab hand with the brush - to put it mildly!!!" (Andy, Amazon review, 15th of November 2013)

    "I bought this book as a present for my husband who is a keen angler and collector of angling associated books. He thoroughly enjoyed it and the colour plates are amazing." ("maid of the mist", Amazon review, 14th of January 2013).

    "All I can say is if you must read one angling book before you die, read this. It's thought provoking and amusing, but most of all, it's amazingly entertaining. A thoroughly good read, get a copy today. It will not disappoint." (Jeff Woodhouse,

    While My Float's Still Cocked - deluxe edition

  • The North Country Fly - reviews

    The North Country Fly: Yorkshire's soft hackle tradition by Robert L. Smith

    The North Country Fly
    Yorkshire's soft hackle tradition
    By Robert L. Smith

    Large hardback in dust-wrapper. £25.00
    Two volume de luxe leather-bound edition with plates of flies. Edition limited to 25 signed and numbered copies. £795.00

    "Excellent book, well researched and put together. Covers everything you will ever need to know about the flies, the tyings and the history. A must have book for the spider fan." (Grant McKinnon, Amazon review, 8th of March 2015).

    "What a great book , it is a fantastic history of the north country spiders and the people who tied them , and fished them , well done rob." (Peter Helliwell, Amazon review, 24th of February 2015).

    The North Country Fly - deluxe edition The North Country Fly - deluxe edition

  • Lure Fishing: Presentation & Strategy - reviews

    Lure Fishing: Presentation and Strategy by Dave Pugh

    Lure Fishing
    Presentation & Strategy
    by Dave Pugh

    High quality hardback. £19.95
    High quality hardback limited to 250 signed and numbered copies. £SOLD OUT
    Quarter-leather bound edition in slipcase limited to 30 signed and numbered copies.

    "Early October I received an e-mail from my fishing friend Hans van der Pauw telling me a new book about fishing with lures would be ready in a few weeks’ time. ‘Lure Fishing, presentation & strategy ́ was the title, written by Dave Pugh. It must have been 20 years that Dave asked me to do a slide show about lure fishing at the annual Lure Angling Society Conference of which he was president. To be honest, I was never impressed by the quality and ability of the English fishermen catching pike, perch, chub and zander with lures. But from articles in various fishing magazines I got the idea Dave was the exception on the rule.

    And also the words presentation and strategy made me curious. I contacted my long-time friend Paul Morgan at Coch-y-Bonddu Books and the end of October 2 copies of this book were delivered at my home address. Now Hans van der Pauw and myself could start with reading the 256 pages of this nice looking hard cover book.

    Finally a new fresh approach. The last 10-15 years I read not many books and articles about the technical side of lure fishing, the reason being that most authors repeat what their predecessors had written about types of lures, colours and size, slow spinning in winter and faster in summer. No mention at all about how the pike and other predators think about these ideas. But in this book lure fishing is viewed through the eyes of the predator. Dave tells us how he learned in the 25 years he is working as a professional guide the hard way which factors are important when you want to be successful. Good results bring more customers. All these for the predator important factors like the right presentation at the right depth with the right speed, selecting the right swims where you can expect predators and visibility of the water are mentioned.

    Reading this gave me quite often a feeling of recognition, a feeling that I practised myself in the more than 30 years I guided guests in the polder canals in North Holland. Compared with other books about lure fishing, you ‘ll find minimum promotion of lure brands and the same with mentioning rods, reels and terminal tackle. Just try to use the best and in practice you’ll learn that. There are situations where I have a different opinion as Dave, I won’t use the strongest and heaviest tackle for that takes away a lot of the fun I have in playing a good sized fish. I have caught thousands of pikes with lures in 19 countries, more than 1000, yes thousand, were over the dream limit of 100 cm and 99,9% of these pikes I have landed with my bare hands, going under the gill cover. I hate to see a pike splashing around in a landing net with the lure in its mouth. I wouldn’t mind to discuss this topic with Dave.

    Before I’ll give you some technical information about the price and how to order, I’ll mention a formula I use for more than 30 years with success and which has a lot in common with the information Dave mentions in his book. As European consultant of the famous In-Fisherman magazine from the USA I learned to use the formula F + L + P = S. The F stands for Fish. The more you know about behaviour of the fish you want to catch, its food and feeding habits, habitat, spawning etc., the better your chances to catch this fish. L stands for Location. When you know where you can expect the fishes you intend to catch your chances to catch some are much better than a water with a minimum population. The P stands for Presentation.

    When you present your lure in a natural way close to the mouth of a predator, the chances this fish will grab this lure are high. The S stands for Success and you’ll get this when you use the formula and the practical information in Dave’s book. For me reading this book was a pleasure and I can recommend it to all lure fishermen, young and old. I found already some new tips in this book which I practised with success in Holland.

    This book is published by: Coch-y-Bonddu Books, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8DG, UK. Phone + 44 1654 702 837. For more information and ordering, visit the website: The price of this excellent book is £19.95 pounds and mailing costs to Europe £5.00. Highly recommended!" (Jan Eggers, The Pike Ferret).


    "Traditionally, lure fishing, especially for pike, has had relatively few enthusiastic followers in the UK. The main reason has always been the conviction that big pike - and that's what most British anglers are interested in - are much more likely to be caught with natural baits, dead or alive. Only in the last twenty to thirty years have we seen a steady increase in the number of British anglers explaining and recommending lure fishing in books and magazines and, more recently, on the internet. Different from England, lure fishing in the Netherlands had already become very popular since the early 1950's. The result has been - in sincere modesty - that the Netherlands had advanced much further in this particular way of angling, compared to England. This was noticed by British angler Chris McCully, after he moved to Holland in 2000. In 2009 this led to the publication of his excellent book Fishing and Pike Lures, which made the knowledge he had gathered in the Netherlands available to British lure anglers.

    And now another specialized book on lure fishing has been published: Lure Fishing - Presentation & Strategy by Dave Pugh. Is it another step forward? I certainly think so. But like McCully, Pugh too builds on ideas and techniques that had been developed abroad in the previous decades. For Pugh the book that really opened his eyes to why and when predatory fish choose and use the places they do, was Spoonplugging (1973) by the American angler Elwood 'Buck' Perry from Hickory, North Carolina. In the USA Perry is regarded as one of the great innovators in lure fishing for bass: 'the daddy of structure fishing'. He developed his theories on the location of predatory fish in the 1950's and 1960's and presented them with the triumphant commercial slogan "You too can catch big fish... and lots of them!" Perry put questions to many assumptions that by then had existed for so long that they had gradually turned into certainties. Pugh does the same thing, and there's a lot to be learned from that.

    For an important part Pugh thinks independently, based on his own experiences. And he formulates his thoughts and conclusions accurately. He mops the floor with well-established ideas and assumptions that over time - and sometimes for generations - have been copied as certainties by many anglers and angling writers. That's a relief. But now the reader in his turn owes it to Pugh to also be critical about Pugh's ideas and not adopt them without any thinking of his own. Moreover the circumstances in which Pugh does his fishing - mostly rivers and lakes - often differ a lot from e.g. the Dutch polders. But still Dutch anglers will find in Pugh's book many thoughts and approaches that are universal and therefore apply to their fishing as well.

    The book is divided into two sections: 'Presentation' en 'Strategy'. In the first section Pugh considers the presentation of lures - that is the location and depth where, and speed at which they are presented - of primary importance. Next to that the size of a lure can be critical as well. But the type of lure and its colour and action matter much less - the type only so much as it determines the depth at which a lure can be fished. In other words, the fish-catching power of the different types of lures is strongly relativized by Pugh. Especially the part about why fish take or ignore a lure is, in my opinion, important and convincing. Here Pugh settles with the anthropomorphic ideas on fish behaviour and the believe that lures should as well as possible imitate prey fish, or even wounded prey fish. However much an angler may be convinced of the attractiveness of a lure, the fish may hold completely different ideas about it. And here, I 'm sure, Pugh really hits the nail right on the head.

    Section two, 'Strategy', contains a good and useful explanation of the different approaches in lures fishing. Yet I find the many certainties Pugh presents here sometimes a bit too positive and far-fetched. It leads to statements like "the chance of getting a take if two pike are present is twenty times higher than from a single pike". How do you know that? And how can you measure it so precisely? Without a doubt there's much knowledge on fishing to be gained from experience. But the problem will always be that, when fishing, the circumstances in nature include an infinite amount of variables: the behavior of the fish themselves at the moment of fishing, circumstances in the water on the exact location (e.g. type of bottom, depth, weed growth, clearness of the water), the weather, the time of day, the behavior of the angler, the materials and bait or lure used, the way in which the bait is presented, etc. etc. All these values, that often differ from day to day or even from hour to hour too, make that conclusions will inevitably remain uncertain and will often also depend on local circumstances. Unfortunately this leaves very little room for certainties. Speaking for myself, in fifty years of angling I've had to give up ever more certainties and assumptions - almost to the point of becoming an angling agnostic. Rather paradoxically, Pugh has helped me with his findings and assumptions to reconsider many of my own ideas and assumptions and to have a fresh and different look at various things. I certainly expect this to benefit my fishing. Yet there remain some fundamental differences in view between Pugh and me. These can probably be carried back mainly to cultural differences between Dutch and British anglers - with the British attitude on the whole being rather more competitive. An important example is the subject of 'time management'. For someone who first and for all values the quality in fishing and who knows to enjoy the way in which a fish is caught and the entire setting in which this takes place - say more the rustic Chris Yates type of angler - this chapter will be hard to swallow. Because here Pugh sets off in a purely quantitative attitude: catching fish like harvesting potatoes. Pugh wants us to ask ourselves the question 'Are there loads of fish here that I can catch easily?'. If not so, we should move on. Here the objective of angling is reduced to hauling in the maximum amount of fish - 'bagging up' - and any circumstances or joy in fishing seems to be subordinate to this goal and irrelevant. At least not a word is spent on it.

    The same attitude can also be recognized in the way Pugh chooses his tackle. He says very little about it at all, other than that he likes to use the strongest tackle and the most powerful rod he can, in fear of losing a fish: "The fight is more an irritation - a potential risk of loss after doing all that hard work in location and presentation." In this Pugh and I are divided by a fundamental difference in attitude. The day I will ever think of fishing as 'hard work' and of the fight as 'an irritation' I will quit angling immediately. Even so, this difference in attitude can hardly be a ground for criticism. Everyone chooses his own way to happiness.

    Conclusion: Without any doubt Pugh's Lure Fishing is an important book with which any lure angler will be able to improve his fishing - at least his results - considerably. Compliments also for the fine hard cover edition with a very attractive painting by Maurice Pledger. Highly recommended." (Hans van der Pauw, 7th of November 2014).


    "This has just arrived at work (where I get most of my fishing parcels sent to) and I had a quick flick through during my work hour. Although mainly aimed at the pike angler with just the odd diversion into perch and zander (a bit of a shame given Dave's reputation has probably been built mainly around zander but perhaps a sensible move by the publishers) it is a fabulous work. It is absolutely everything we have come to expect from Dave's writing: zero fluff. It's as practical and unembellished as a car manual. But what it oozes is a vastly concentrated distillation of many, many hours of experience over many, many years. Dave's style of fishing and thinking is not for everyone. If you're a chuck and chillax kind of angler this is definitely not a book for you as it will just feel like far too much hard work and attention to detail! Let's face it, most people won't religiously count retrieve turns and count down times to, when the hit on the right combo, be able to repeat it over and over. But if you want to learn how to catch more fish, even if the effort feels like a bit too much to be putting in every trip, then this book is probably the best I've read.

    Massively recommend. I'll have read it cover to cover by bed time! Well done Dave." (Guy Micklewright, Lure Anglers' Society forum)



    "Outstanding book, very different to the majority of what has been written about lure fishing, which seems to be regurgitated from previous authors. Would thoroughly reccomend!" ("J2TheM", Amazon UK review, 2nd of November 2015)

  • 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).

  • Salmon Flies: Past and Present - Reviews

    Salmon Flies: Past and Present by Henk van BorkSalmon Flies:
    Past and Present
    By Henk van Bork

    Fine new paperback. £19.95
    De luxe leather-bound edition limited to 10 copies only with fly tied by the author. £SOLD OUT

    "Great book on salmon flies for beginning salmon fly tyers as will as advanced tyers . Super photos quality tyed salmon flies. Good step instruction . I be tying salmon flies for many years this is one of the best books I purchased in years." (Timothy Johnson, Amazon US review).

    "This is an English translation of a Dutch original, and as far as I can see/read, nothing has been lost in translation. Thanks to translator, Jan Willem Wijers, and editor, Keith Harwood, the book reads well. I found myself flicking through this, stopping whenever a fly or page of tying diagrams caught my eye: excellent design and graphics, high quality photography, well printed on decent, coated paper.

    Salmon Flies is a survey, a sampling of salmon flies from the early days up to reasonably modern. After a very potted sketch of fly-fishing history, the author gets stuck into the flies, and looks at four Blacker patterns, each fly is dressed and photographed to a high standard and the fly-portrait is followed by tying instructions and explanation. All the main featured flies are treated the same way.

    The next chapter, ‘The colourful era’, briefly introduces Traherne and Kelson, then ties eight flies in date order from 1840 to 1895. I liked that sense of tying through half a century of flies. With the flies tied the following chapter is devoted to framing, which seems to say quite a lot about this project. Classic salmon flies were tied for fishing. We now tie them mainly for display so framing is an essential part of the process.

    The remaining chapters continue into the 20th century, introducing hair-winged flies, Dee and Spey flies, Shrimps & Prawns. The final chapter is ‘Contemporary Salmon Fly Dressing’, which had me expecting contemporary fishing flies, but is really a sampling of modern creative flies tied in the style of classic flies – some beautiful tying!

    The author (and editor) have chosen and assembled a teasing introduction to classic feather-winged salmon flies. To my mind the hair-wing chapter could be taken out of this and used as the base for a similar survey/introduction to modern salmon fishing flies, the feather-winged flies are about enough for me. A little gem of a book!" (Magnus Angus, Fly Fishing & Fly Tying magazine).

    Salmon Flies: Past and Present - De luxe edition

  • Tied in the Hand - reviews

    Tied in the Hand by Sven-Olov Hard

    Tied in the Hand:
    Odyssey of a salmon fly-tyer
    By Sven-Olov Hard

    Hardback in dust-wrapper. £35.00
    De luxe leather-bound edition limited to 35 copies with mounted fly tied by the author. £575.00

    "Here we have a book which showcases salmon flies that have been tied in the hand by a dresser with a long experience of doing things that way and who is confident enough to see past the modern trends and dress patterns the way their creators knew them. I am not saying that the last 30 years of classic salmon fly dressing development should be thrown out the window, but I do think that anglers should have a chance to see traditional flies as the Victorians knew them - and if you want that, then this is the book you need...

    ...from that point on I can only describe this as the most charming technical book I have read in a long while...

    ...I thoroughly enjoyed Tied in the Hand and if you don’t buy it for yourself, it would make the most fantastic gift." (Dr Andrew Herd,, click here to read the full review).

    De luxe edition of Tied in the Hand by Sven-Olov Hard

  • Flyfishing the Welsh Borderlands - reviews

    Flyfishing the Welsh Borderlands by Roger Smith

    Flyfishing the Welsh Borderlands:
    A review of flyfishing and flies for wild trout and grayling
    By Roger Smith

    High quality paperback with flaps. £25.00
    Cloth-bound edition limited to 250 signed and numbered copies. £50.00
    De luxe leather-bound edition limited to 30 copies with mounted fly. £195.00

    "Short of someone sitting down and writing a beat by beat resume of the region we are unlikely to see anything better on the subject published in our lifetimes." (Dr Andrew Herd,, click here to read the full review).

    "Superb book." (Ian, Amazon review, 1st of July 2014)


    "Roger Smith's book is in my opinion an essential read for anyone wishing to gain some local knowledge about the Welsh border streams. His passion for the area is clear and his writing combines the knowledge and wisdom of a biologist, a lover of the outdoors and keen angler.

    Roger's many years fishing these streams, talking to other locals and research have come together to form an easy reading, yet incredible informative book which should be on the shelf of any local fly-fisherman." (D.R. Boardman, Amazon review, 12th of January 2013).


    "Roger Smith's very well researched book has pulled together many previously explored 'threads' (not an intended fly tying pun). He has created a work which recognises the contribution made by the rivers and characters of Borderlands fly fishing and firmly positions them in their rightful place in the wider context of UK fly fishing history.

    This is a 'must have' book for anyone who has any interest in or appreciation of the border streams." (Mr P. Dunstan, Amazon review, 28th of May 2012).

  • Water Colours - reviews

    Water Colours:
    Further ramblings of an artist-angler
    By Maurice J. Pledger

    High quality paperback with flaps. £19.95
    Cloth-bound edition limited to 250 signed and numbered copies. £50.00
    De luxe leather-bound edition limited to only 35 signed and numbered copies. £250.00

    "Good writing and divine illustrations.

    It's that time of year again when I am on the lookout for birthday presents or stocking fillers for one or two of my angling colleagues.

    Fortunately, most are easy to please - a few home-tied variants of well-known patterns (any resemblance to the original purely coincidental) or little assortments of the latest gizmos and gadgets.

    For the more discerning, the task is that bit harder and that is why I am eternally grateful that Coch-y-Bonddu Books have, in their infinite, wisdom published Water Colours - the equally well written and excellently illustrated follow-up to Maurice J Pledger's While My Float's Still Cocked.

    The subtitle, Further ramblings of an artist-angler, could not be further from the truth. Pledger is both a remarkably gifted author and artist - I leave it to those who know him better to comment on his angling capabilities - whose prose is clear, concise and easy to read, and whose illustrations are simply divine.

    Like all good writers, Pledger evokes a roller-coaster of emotions, from laughing out loud with him at the tale of the boy with the hook in his finger and the tricks played on a fishing mate to the poignant final farewell to his father and his uncle.

    But, more than anything, Pledger rekindles a love for, and an interest in, those things we anglers should hold dear to our hearts - the countryside and all things in it, from fish and birds to flora.

    He does this not only through his brilliantly reconstructed anecdotes, but also through the mastery of colour, depth and perception of his wildlife artwork, which, in my view, rates among the best I have seen for some time.

    And the copy of the Water Colours I was going to give to my old school friend ... it is on my book shelf along with While My Float's Still Cocked.

    Perhaps one of these days I'll be lucky enough to add a third volume alongside them. One can but hope." (


    "I doubt any of us display less vanity than this author. Mole, as his friends call him, illustrates interactive children’s books and more than ten million copies have been sold worldwide. His ornithological studies have sold at Sotheby’s, yet when I cheekily asked if I might use some of his fish images on my latest DVD inlays and to break up different film sequences he not only talked his agent into letting me use them at no cost, he then wrote to me saying he was humbled to be given such an opportunity. Crikey, if anyone should be humbled it was me. Of course, I jumped at a chance to repay the favour when he asked me to write an introduction for Water Colours. It was an honour and I knew it would be a cracker if his previous book, While My Float’s Still Cocked was anything to go by.

    I wasn't to be disappointed. Water Colours is a whimsical book. A collection of tales and Boy’s Own adventures, the polar extreme of obsession. It’s a lovely book, one to escape into on a cold winter’s evening. Not surprisingly it’s liberally illustrated with Mole’s sketches and paintings throughout." (Bob Roberts, who contributed the foreword to the book).


    "The book covers many different emotions from sadness to laughter and everything else in between. He discusses his friendships, love of the countryside and many other subjects right the way through to his last goodbye to his father and uncle. Like it says in the subtitle of the book it is about the ramblings of an artist-angler and much more in my opinion. I don't think you will be disappointed with this book and can highly recommend it for your bookshelf and collection." (Mark Sarul,


    "As usual this book shop gives great service I can recommend the author to anyone who enjoys fishing and art." (Keith Holloway, Amazon review, 10th of January 2014).

  • Redfin Diaries - reviews

    Redfin Diaries
    A life in the year of a roach enthusiast
    By Dr. Mark Everard

    Hardback in dust-wrapper. £25.00
    Hardback in dust-wrapper limited to 250 signed and numbered copies. £SOLD OUT
    De luxe leather-bound edition limited to only 30 signed and numbered copies. £250.00

    "Loosely described as a life in the year of a roach enthusiast, this isn’t a diary of events that takes place over the course of one year. It’s a book split into the four seasons with tales drawn from several decades neatly filed under the headings of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. Emotionally it’s hard to describe how I felt after reading the diaries because it took me back three decades to when big roach could be found in rivers like the Idle and Torne. It brought into sharp focus what we've lost through disastrous river board drainage practises, chemical fertilisation and that blight of all blights, the influx of freshwater cormorants which threatens the very survival of river roach. Yet here’s a bloke who claims to have caught more than 900 specimen roach pretty much during that same era of decline. It’s an astonishing tally yet I see no reason why Everard should exaggerate and I therefore take him at his word. Unfortunately, here in South Yorkshire I've almost as much chance of spotting a unicorn as catching a 2lb roach, never mind one of the many three-pounders he catches. So yes, it’s a book that fills me with jealousy, with regrets and a yearning for the past in equal measures." (Bob Roberts).

    "I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and picked up some useful tips along the way.

    The author has caught over 900 2lb plus roach, some over 3lb, on a variety of waters mainly rivers in the south of England and he has picked out some of his most memorable days for this book. His enthusiasm for the species is contagious and he generously shares full details of his successful methods for locating and catching big roach which the reader can replicate. The book includes many good colour pictures of his roach bags - I was surprised that these sometimes appear before the account of their capture though, somewhat giving the game away but that is a minor detail.

    Mark's interest more widely in life and nature shines through and the book is also illustrated by his own first class drawings of waterside objects which is a nice touch. I would recommend this book particularly to river fishers who would like to catch big roach or just enjoy reading how it's done." ("Sandlubber", Amazon review, 4th of November 2013).


    "Bought this book for my husband and he loved it." (Susan Cartwright, Amazon review, 26th of November 2014).

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