by Tony Orman
Book Review. “Fly-fishing in New Zealand – What you Need to Know”, by Derek Grzelewski. Published by Bateman Books. Price: $39.99
Derek Grzelewski is already an accomplished author of deservedly well acclaimed trout fishing books, his first being the delightful “The Trout Diaries.” Basically his latest book takes the reader through equipment needed, casting, food of trout, techniques and so on. While it might be assumed this is a book for the new chum the experienced fly fishermen should read it, for the author imparts a lot of wise advice. Plus as they say “you never stop learning in going trout fishing.” It’s the ultimate, eternal challenge a point the author emphasises.
Derek Grzelewski writes, “It takes me and many visits and fishing experiences to learn a river.” The author never over-complicates trout fishing unlike some other trout fishing writers.
“Fly fishing is not difficult,” he writes. “but it is complex and there are plenty of experts out there who insist on making it even more so, perhaps because this makes them feel more knowledgeable and important.” The beginner can be confronted with theories that are “overwhelmingly complex” and unnecessary.
“I am not proposing to make fly-fishing easy or simple —it is not and you wouldn’t want it to be anyway—A great majority won’t put time and effort required and instead they continue to hope the next gadget, new rod or magic fly will get them to connect with the dream fish, not realising that a cleaner and more direct way to fly-fishing competence is through investment in oneself.”
The importance of oneself i.e. attitude and the mental approach, is one aspect I would have liked to have seen enlarged upon. Nevertheless, Derek Grzelewski has written a fine book, well illustrated with black and white and colour photos, among which is an excellent double page spread of aquatic insect life cycles.
Again, as I’ve mentioned it with reviewing quite a few other non-fiction books, why is there not an index? A book of this instructive nature cries out for it. A beautiful cover, and liberal black and white and colour photos enhance the author’s easy-to-read style.
A top catch. Go and land one!