Barrie Rickards - Medlar Press author

Barrie Rickards spent most of his working life at the University of Cambridge as Emeritus Professor of Palaeontology and Biostratigraphy and was made a Life Fellow of Emmanuel College. After retirement he continued research into the evolution of fossil groups. 

Born on 12th June 1938, Barrie grew up in Leeds and Goole in Yorkshire and fished in the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire as a boy. Some of his favourite angling haunts included the rivers Ouse and Derwent, as well as many clay and borrow pits.

Although Barrie specialised to some extent in pike, he fished actively in most spheres of angling - coarse, sea, game and some big game. For six months Barrie held the British record for zander, with the first of the really big specimens caught in this country - the weight being 12lb 5oz. Despite this, the tench remained his favourite quarry and he was always hopeful of a 30lb carp.  He was a club official of some kind or other every single year since 1955 and was also President of the Specialist Anglers’ Association, the Lure Anglers’ Society and the Pike Fly Fishers' Association. He represented anglers over many years on various consultative groups associated with the Environment Agency and was  a consultant for Shakespeare.

Barrie published nearly eight hundred angling articles and numerous books. His Medlar books are all very different: Fishers on the Green Roads is a delightful semi-autobiographical novel about youngsters growing up in Yorkshire just after the Second World War; the Richard Walker book is a biography of one of the greatest anglers in British history, written with Patricia Marston Walker; Fishing for Big Pike Revisited is a completely new book based on the 1971 book about pike that he wrote with Ray Webb in 1971; and Zander in the How to Catch Them series was suggested by Medlar (and was a project that Barrie thoroughly enjoyed). Barrie’s non-fishing interests included growing cacti, wildlife, opera and evolutionary studies.

Barrie died on 5th November 2009. A celebration of his angling life was published in the 70th (winter) edition of Waterlog.

Fishing for Big Pike Revisited