Like any truly valuable fishing literature, the book is designed to be carried along and referred to at the waters edge. Foundational tackle and casting techniques are not covered ? instead the focus is specifically on flies and when, where and how to use them.
Acknowledging the fisherman's need to adapt to the environment, a handy quick reference key speeds navigation through the pages, providing a direct guide from tackle box to target quarry.
The mini-manual begins with general definitions regarding the regions of the South African coastline, relevant water temperature and the habitats, as well as which local fish occur where. Most of the text is devoted to the relationship between possible food forms which are likely to feed fish in their habitats and the best ammunition to employ in deceiving them.
The final section on the flies themselves is the most detailed. Each pattern is introduced with an explanation on what the fly imitates and where and how to use it for optimum results.
Aimed primarily at novice level, the guide's advantage is its simplicity. The author has been extremely disciplined in ignoring the often encyclopaedic detail that such a subject can elicit from its enthusiasts.
Rather, it provides a swift and informed choice of projectile. Only basic, proven patterns are discussed and explained (with a few species of the writer's own creation!).
Any aspiring angler who has fallen prey to a few titillating feathers in the tackle shop and spent hours flogging the briny to no avail will appreciate the saving in both time and cash.
And for the unfortunate hours when salty fishing adventures are not an option, Hansford-Steele provides another nifty bonus: the "recipe" for each fly, encouraging the reader to investigate the option of tying and varying his own patterns, an introduction to yet another genre of the art.
Pursuit of the sport in earnest will require more substantial reading, but most fishermen will do well to find literature as concise and focussed in their vest pockets.
Title: Saltwater flies for South African waters
Author: Bill Hansford-Steele
Publishered by: Struik