An illustrated bibliography of the best, most fascinating, salmon fishing books ever published. Every activity generates its own literature, but few have generated as much enthusiasm, some of it incredibly esoteric, most of it interesting, and much of it downright irresistible as salmon fishing.
A distinguished antiquarian bookseller, Charles B. Wood III has been pursuing these fish for decades, and has what is probably the most extensive collection in private hands. For this selective bibliography he has chosen 230 of the most interesting titles (some of them so rare that they might be encountered only once in a lifetime) and arranged them by country and date. All titles are illustrated.
What makes this such a pleasure is the knowledge he brings to bear not only as a bookman, but also as a reader and a fisherman. He knows the rivers; and often the people who fished them and wrote the books. He knows what qualifies as quality, whether it is an elusive and fugitive mimeographed account or a treasured limited edition. As a guide for collectors or as a book for armchair anglers, this is a fascinating and illuminating journey into a world of piscatorial lore, adventure, and description. It makes the expense, travel and anticipation of salmon fishing almost unnecessary.
With a certain, high level of fanaticism in mind, to call salmon fishing a sport, chess a board game, landscape painting a hobby, mountain climbing a hike, just doesn’t quite capture the spirit of the thing. And when the sought prize is Atlantic salmon, all bets are off because commercial fishing, dams, and pollution have so decimated the population, they spawn in only a few remote and guarded rivers of Scandinavia, Great Britain, Iceland, and Canada.
More accessible are the books about Salmo Salar (Atlantic salmon). What exists is a fascinating, esoteric canon of adventure, lore, treatises on flies, descriptions of clubs, photo albums, and fantastically rare accounts of grand ol’ fishing exploits. Antiquarian bookseller and passionate salmon fisher, Charles Wood has amassed the world’s greatest collection of Atlantic salmon works, and this beautiful coffee-tabler, much of it possessing a high level of historical value, showcases 230 of the most interesting.
This is not a reference book but a book to be read, as it should be by many. They will not be disappointed…the illustrations are first class, as is the production in general. The author has a good ear for the mood music that can make a day’s fishing stand out.