The Medlar News Blog

Medlar has been publishing fishing books since 1994 and we are proud to have produced works by many of the finest angling writers. In our Blog we’ll give you an insight into the new books we’re working on, provide the occasional extract from our Books of the Week, author news, book reviews and loads of angling snippets (from how to fish to fishing history, fishing tackle, great angling literature and much more).

The Perfect Gift

Rose Ward-Allen
Stacks Image 797

The Perfect Angling Gift - a Book that Lasts a Lifetime


Finding the perfect Christmas gift isn’t always easy but it’s made a little easier if you know that the recipient enjoys a good book. Some presents just help to while away a little time, others can be life changing - and whether your gift falls into the former or the latter category is probably just down to chance. Consider this, for instance: we learn from the Foreword of Casting at the Sun, that the formation of the Carp Catchers’ Club - and the fascination with carp fishing which ensued from that and still continues today - stemmed from the reading of a book over Christmas! The book was one of BB’s and it was read by Richard Walker. The latter then got in touch with BB, having read his book, and proposed the formation of a carp catchers’ club. The rest, as they say, is history (and is available as a limited edition hardback from Medlar - The Carp Catchers’ Club). It is not clear whether BB’s book was a Christmas gift to Richard Walker but it could well have been.

Oscar Wilde famously said: ’It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it’ which in fishing terms could be translated as ‘it is the fishing books you read when you cannot go fishing that determine what you will catch, how well you catch it, or how much you enjoy your fishing when you do’.

There are so many angling books to choose from - big ones, little ones, old ones, new ones, story books, reference books, and good ones and bad ones (although Medlar’s are all good ones of course!). It’s impossible to make recommendations when we love them all so much and could wax lyrical for many hours to bore the pants off even the most tenacious listener in lockdown! However, we have attempted here to make some suggestions to help with the process of finding the best fit for the angling recipient.

We’ll start with the stocking fillers for around £20 (how we hate the magazine articles about gifts that start with a price tag of £300!). These are the books that can be found at the cheaper end of the spectrum but are fantastic value and make great presents. Take a look at these:
Simply Coarse Fishing (for the young angler - probably not for you if you are 90+ although the pictures are lovely), Mayflies and More (for the fly dresser, including a DVD), these lovely editions - Lizarralde, One for the Road, Some of it Was Fun, A Bit of Irish Mist, Spotty Herberts (trout), The Silver Tourist (salmon), Castaway - and of course the Medlar anthologies - The River Prince, Shadows & Reflections, Great Carp Stories, Great Pike Stories, More Great Pike Stories, Great Barbel Stories.

Then we’ll move on to the classics - the great books that have stood the test of time and still delight their readers. You just can’t go wrong with these as a gift. They include all the books by Chris Yates, BB, Jack Hargreaves, Sheringham and Bernard Venables. In addition,
The Passionate Angler (Maurice Wiggin), Old Father Thames (Peter Stone), My Fishing Days and Ways (J. W. Martin), Trout of the Thames (A. E. Hobbs), A Creel of Willow and A Snowdon Stream (W. H. Canaway), Rod and Line (Arthur Ransome), A Summer on the Test (John Waller Hills), At the Tail of the Weir (Patrick Chalmers), and even a modern classic or two like Beside a Carp Water by Jon Edy-Berry.

Presents for the specialists can be tricky. There are books aplenty - for salmon fishers, trout fishers, grayling fishers and fishers of carp, barbel, pike and mullet, as well as for those with a passion for fly dressing and tackle collecting; the trick is to know which books they already have and that’s not easy. It’s probably best to check with them to be honest.

Fairly safe bets for presents would be those that relate to travel of some kind. Most of us enjoy reading about fishing around the UK or in far-flung places. These would make excellent gifts:
Searching for a Rise, Fire and Ice, A Train to Catch, Always Summer, Stour Diaries, As I Cast Out and When the Float Comes In.

If your recipient enjoys a bit of history, you could look at that area too - so many fabulous books to choose from, ranging from the 1492
Treatise (another stocking filler perhaps?) to the extraordinary Blacker Trilogy (now we’re into the luxury range!). Along the way are histories of fly dressing, of trout, of carp and of famous people who were fishermen - Marryat, John Buchan, Sir Walter Scott, Hugh Falkus, Richard Walker, the Reverend Edward Powell (Orange Otter), the Hardy Brothers. There are histories of rivers and places - the Tweed, the Shetlands and the Thurso - and of the National Angling Championships and the Flyfishers' Club.

Still stuck? Well, other options include any of the
Waterlog back copies (issues 50 onwards are lovely productions in their own right so would make great gifts) and of course Waterlog 101 (a sumptuous collection of angling stories and articles in the Waterlog style).

So there you have it - I’ve mentioned some titles by name but am bound to have missed out a few gems. For a full list of titles or more help please try using the search button on the
Bookshop page, although we can’t guarantee that a search for ‘presents for an awkward bugger’ would come up with much - best to phone us to discuss that one! We’re happy to help - and if you really can’t decide, we can always supply a Medlar gift voucher (or even an email if you’ve left it late).
Stacks Image 918
Stacks Image 929
Stacks Image 920
Stacks Image 931