Greatest Angling Writers

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Scott
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Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Scott » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:56 pm

Found this list on the Canals and Rivers Trust website.

A top 10 of great British writers with strict criteria for making the list.

I could certainly come up with 10 international writers but don't think I could think of 10 'UK' writers as a lot of what I read is American.

Do you agree with the list? Who'd be on yours list within the criteria?

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-th ... ng-writers

The profiles also make interesting reading.

:Hat:

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Firebird
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Re: Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Firebird » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:29 pm

Wonder who compiled this. Keith Elliott?
Falkus, Ransome, Sheringham - all very good writers. Profumo is dreadful, many of the others indifferent or inconsistent.

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Scott
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Re: Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Scott » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:30 pm

Firebird wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:29 pm
Wonder who compiled this. Keith Elliott?
Falkus, Ransome, Sheringham - all very good writers. Profumo is dreadful, many of the others indifferent or inconsistent.
Yes, it was Keith Elliott actually. Agreed, Falkus, Ransome, Sheringham, I've enjoyed them all.

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Santiago
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Re: Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Santiago » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:37 pm

I would suggest writers by the names of LA Parker, Victor Carron Wellington, and another by the pseudonym of the Silver Doctor (Lewis Smith). They're better writers than Walker and Yates, but are not so famous. Once home I will be able to look up the names of a few more. AE Hobbs and Plunket Green! Venables is quite readable as well.
Last edited by Santiago on Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Paul F
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Re: Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Paul F » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:28 pm

Sorry, Rubbish list!
like Keith says, ask 10 people and you will get 10 different answers.
Ask a game angler they will name game authors, and coarse anglers visa versa
Ask someone who has been fishing 30yrs+ verse someone fishing 10yrs!
why not books over 100yrs? Pritt, Walbran, WC Stewart, Skues and my all time favourite JW Martin

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Beresford
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Re: Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Beresford » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:52 pm

Brian Clarke should be on that list (assuming he was UK born). Every bit as compelling as Yates. There's at least one I'd take off that list but it seems a bit unfair to name them.
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Windjammer
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Re: Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Windjammer » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:51 am

Negley Farson. And a top name as well.

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Firebird
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Re: Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Firebird » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:02 am

Yes, Negley Farson is also very good. And Thomas McGuane who does not appear either.

I think this is KE's personal list isn't it? So not a question of whether you are a game or coarse angler (I'm both - and sea). If it is KE's, note he appears on his own list!

I'd rather call them best fishing writers. Great is a term best applied to the likes of Cervantes, Tolstoy, etc. There are no great fishing writers.

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Re: Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Tengisgol » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:20 am

The biggest challenge to modern angling writers is they are not being allowed to write the books they want, by the publishing houses that have reach. Of course, a well written fishing book will be published with a run of 300, 400 or maybe 500 by LEP, Medlar or one of the other small publishers. But it won't get the book out into WHS or Waterstones with a big splash. You don't make a living from that as an author. The likes of John Bailey and Henry Gilbey (just examples of who you will occasionally find in those shops) are forced to write 'how to do it' books and it kills them (it certainly does John, I can't truly speak for Henry).

My best fishing friend is Rob Olsen who wrote 'Tom's Book', which was very well received. It had a run of about 400 or 500 I think and sold out. He's got lots of new and great material that I think is equally wonderful. Certainly there is a follow up to Tom's Book ready plus his beautifully illustrated diaries. However, if he wants to get it published how he wants, he has to front the cost himself which is considerable. This is despite being ready to go to print; it's all typeset and ready, that's what he does as an occupation. He will then have to store the books, market, sell and despatch. And he wouldn't make any profit till he gets to the last fifty to a hundred copies which would all have to be sold to get a return (and there is never a guarantee). The final return if he is really lucky and avoids flood and litigation, for masses of work, is equivalent to a couple of weeks agency work. So he'll never stand a chance of getting into contention because you're unlikely to read his work.

I've been lucky to be on some rare old adventures when I was younger with John, Keith, Rob and the likes and it makes me shiver when I see our first forays into Mongolia described that way in the bio. I think John Bailey has written some lovely books; Travels with a Two Piece, In Visible Waters and Roach the Gentle Giants are works that will stand the test of time. Much of what followed was a man being told what he had to do if he wanted to scratch a living from his passion. He doesn't expect sympathy, it was his choice to leave teaching, but it is a pity. The only exception being Trout at Ten Thousand Feet, when he eventually managed to persuade the publishers to print stories of his travels and fishing and I think that finally captures some of that early feel. Try it if you haven't because it's dead cheap to buy.

Anyhow that's the back story as to why you see indifference and inconsistency, none of which is likely to be denied by the authors.
Last edited by Tengisgol on Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Santiago
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Re: Greatest Angling Writers

Post by Santiago » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:30 am

The greatest fishing writer would be an American, Hemingway! He wrote many truly great books, some on fishing and some not, and was awarded a Noble Prize for literature for a fishing story, The Old Man and the Sea. I know of no other fishing writer to achieve this.
"....he felt the gentle touch on the line and he was happy"

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