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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).

Stour Diaries

Review in Salmo Trutta
Suffolk Stour Dedham
The River Stour at Dedham. Image courtesy of Kevan Law.

Stour Diaries

FISHING THE SUFFOLK STOUR BY CHRIS McCULLY
HARDBACK - 216pp - MEDLAR PRESS

I really enjoyed this book. Chris is a scholar of the English language and it shows: his writing is stylish, engaging, evocative and oft-times funny. If you like a book that’s full of beautiful, colour plates, Stour Diaries is not for you; Chris uses very few and very small, black & white photographs, with words instead to tell many good stories. The book is not rich with angling technique but that’s not at all what the author has set out to do. I imagine that Chris would happily admit that he’s no expert with much of the fishing in his stories and his cock-ups will amuse all fishers, likely because we’ve all done it ourselves. I laughed out loud at the telling of raking the swim for tench, then casting out into the pre-dawn gloom and water no more than eight inches deep. I very much too empathise with Chris’s eclectic choice of quarry, chasing everything from minnows to pike and his softspot for gudgeon and the miller’s thumb; he’s no fan of bream: “I fail to see the point of bream”.
At times, you wonder why this book wanders off, with tales of dragons, Anne Boleyn and the ghosts of Borley Church: not much about fishing the Stour in this lot. But they are interesting tales of their own accord and, as Chris notes, he “can’t separate the river from the context – historical, cultural, ecological – through which it flows”. Very important point that – a river is not an isolated thread but inextricably entwined with the landscape and people around it.

If you fancy a crafted book of light-hearted fishing tales with a deeply personal perspective, blended into the countryside and history around its subject river, this is for you. Great read.

Shaun Leonard, Wild Trout Trust

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