Rod and Line
by Ransome, Arthur
pub. by Oxford Univ. Press - 1980 isbn 0-19-281-278-5
(first pub. by Jonathan Cape 1929 ) - - 196 p. - - ransome
Before Arthur Ransome wrote Swallows and Amazons, and after he returned from Russia, he wrote articles for the Manchester Guardian on fishing. This book includes 50 of these articles. The writing is clear and amazingly good as non-fiction literature. Few write as clearly or entertainingly as some of the first few articles in this book. They were collected by Ransome himself in their first book publication.
Almost all fishing discussed here is in streams and small rivers.
Much of the writing involves pointing out proper behavior for fishermen.
It should be noted that almost all of the fishing is using what in USA is called a ~ fly rod ~. The tying of fishing flies is discussed in some articles. The general styles are known by specific names, which are known to afecionados but not the general public, but then these were articles for members of the fishing fraternity.
Fishing in the UK... mostly England and Scotland... at this period of history was a stratified sport. Fishing for trout and salmon was considered noble. Fishing for other fish such as pike, perch, carp, tench, roach, chub, etc. is second class.
If you are thinking of putting on your tweed coat, waders, taking up your rod and creel to do some stream fishing, or studying about how this was done before WWII, this is the book for you. Also, particulary in the first 16 pages, the writing will raise a chuckle. It is really well written.
Ransome was a serious fisherman. When he was being interrogated by the British governmental authorities upon his first return to England from Russia early during the Russian Revolution, (they were afraid he was an agent of the communists) he was asked what his politics were...he fameously replied fishing and stuck to that answer. The authorities came to believe him.
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