The Medlar Press Spring 2017
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New Books for Spring 2017

Three very different titles - all brilliant reads:
When did you last read a book about fishing in the North East of England? Last year? The year before? Never?  This vast and beautiful part of our country has some wonderful rivers (including the Tyne, Wear, Derwent, Coquet, Swale and Wansbeck), coarse fishing lakes, and a spectacular and varied coastline. It's home to a diverse range of fish - from trout, sea trout and grayling to perch, barbel, carp and bass - and yet very little has been written about its fishing. Were you aware, for example, that the Wear is now recognised as one the best sea trout rivers in England? Peter McParlin knows the area well, having fished there since he was a lad. In this book he fishes through a calendar year, through all weathers, moving around the region to experience the varied fishing on offer - coarse, sea and game. It's not a fishing guide book (for that, you might like to seek out his previous book The Lambton Worm); it's a great read, written in diary form, about his fishing, the fish, the rivers, the landscape and the history of this wonderful part of the world - the ancient kingdom of Northumbria. It's good to put the North East on the angling literary map and we're sure you'll enjoy it.

Pike and Perch       Edition limited to 250 copies

Alfred Jardine
A new Medlar hardback of Jardine's classic work on pike and perch fishing. Alfred Jardine was a practical angler of long and varied experience and no one had better knowledge of how, when, and where to take these sporting fish. He supplied useful information and described the latest and best kinds of tackle. This is a book that will be found worthy of a corner in any fisherman’s creel. Beautifully illustrated with wonderful Victorian woodcuts of rods, reels, lures and other angling paraphernalia!

John first discovered Spanish barbel in the 1980s and when he caught his first one he expected it to be the same Barbus barbus that we have here. It wasn't - it was Barbus bocagei - and the discovery spurred him to travel the length and breadth of Spain looking for other different barbel - including the gigantic comizo and the golden gypsy. Tracking down all nine barbel species became something of an angling quest, taking him from the tiniest highland streams to vast reservoirs.

As I Cast Out - An Englishman Fishing in Spain, another of John's Iberian fishing books, was critically acclaimed:

'The standard of writing is so good you can taste the dust the man eats . . .'

'The engaging and entertaining writing evokes the atmosphere of each trip beautifully and the fishing tales are interwoven with insights into the country, its history and literary references. A thoroughly good read.'

This new book is very different, focusing entirely on barbel fishing, but is written in the same engaging way.  It covers how to find and identify the nine different barbel species and Jon's experience of fishing for them. It also includes information about travelling to Spain and how to obtain licences etc.

Coming Soon:

Production work on this stunning new trilogy - an edition limited to just 250 cloth bound copies and 12 special sets in leather - is now well under way. If you would like a copy, please be sure to make a reservation as it looks as though they may sell out prior to publication (scheduled for autumn 2017).

So who was William Blacker? Well, he became famous when, in 1843, he published Art of Angling - a book which contained a hundred detailed salmon fly patterns - doubling the number of such flies that were already in print. A large proportion of these were examples of a new and exciting class of salmon fly, tied with exotic materials in what was becoming known as the 'Irish style'.  Blacker did more than anyone else to introduce Britain to the mixed wing salmon fly, but he was also a cutting-edge trout fisherman. The strange thing is that so little, to date, has been written about him.

This trilogy has been many years in the making. The project is a unique fusion of the skills of a multi-talented multi-national team, backed up by researchers based in three different countries on two continents. It began in the 1990s when Hermann Dietrich-Troeltsch began to assemble his unrivalled collection of copies of the scarce Blacker 1842 and 1843 editions.

The Blacker Trilogy is more than likely to be the most ambitious book on angling ever attempted (the three volumes containing around a thousand pages and many hundreds of stunning photographs!). The standard edition will be limited to 250 copies and there will also be a special collector's edition of 12 three-volume sets (each of which will include three salmon flies). There are only a couple of these left for reservation now.

For further information about the project
please visit the Medlar website.


Holiday Fishing

Given that this is the time of year when many people are booking holidays, we thought you might like a reminder of some of the travel fishing books we publish and the countries and regions they cover.


Searching for a Rise (chalkstreams), A Train to Catch,
Fish & Fishers of the Lake District, When the Float Comes In (NE England),
Salmon Fishing and the Story of the River Tweed, A Summer on the Test

Nomads of the Tides, A Bit of Irish Mist

The Angler in Scotland, John Buchan on Angling

As I Cast Out, Fishing for Spanish Barbel, Lizarralde

Fire & Ice (Iceland), Castaway, One for the Road,
Searching for a Rise  (Argentina and the USA), Casting a Line,
A Wellie Full of Water, The Trout's Tale

And should you be going to a coastal location,
you may like some help with catching sea fish:

Fishing for Ghosts (successful mullet fishing),
Sticklebacks to Skate (species hunting with rod and line in Britain and Ireland)

Book Review

John Buchan on Angling
Country Life (David Profumo)

'When he died in 1940, as Governor-General of Canada, John Buchan (Baron Tweedsmuir) was just 64, but was distinguished as a classical scholar, lawyer, politician and novelist who had published more than 100 books. His was a precocious talent - he was listed in Who’s Who when still an Oxford undergraduate - and, as Keith Harwood demonstrates in this diligent and intriguing volume, much of Buchan’s writing was shaped by his boyhood among the streams of the Scottish Borders . . .

'Mr Harwood has judiciously chosen extracts from Buchan’s prolific angling journalism, which is evocative and magisterial, ranging from an early eulogy on still waters to a lively version of Bishop Browne’s lost Tay salmon (‘as large as a well-grown boy’). Fishing featured in his fiction, too, from
The Thirty-Nine Steps to John Macnab, although one regret is that he never wrote more than two chapters - reprinted here - of Pilgrim’s Rest, his projected piscatorial opus magnum, a loss to the literature ranking alongside Arthur Ransome’s uncompleted volume The River Comes First.


Subscribers may like to know that Issue 99, our Spring Edition, will be published at the end of March. As 100 will be the last Waterlog in magazine format, we are now taking reservations from subscribers for the hardback book Waterlog 101 to be published toward the end of the year. If you have not yet reserved a copy, please contact us at

For those who are not subscribers, or who have missed Waterlog entirely,

back copies are still available here.

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