Published Feb 23. 2016 - 8 years ago
Updated or edited Feb 23. 2016

Book review: Crooked Lines

Some fishing books teaches you stuff, some fascinate you, some entertain you. Some do all and more

Dominic Garnett
DG Fishing
Publishing year: 
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British Dominic Garnett isn't your average angler. He's kind of all over the place. Both in the geographical sense of the words and in his activities. He fishes, of course, fly, spin, bait, you name it. He also writes. He also takes pictures. He appears in videos. He guides if you want it. He sells stuff – not only his books, but also flies, T-shirts and in a way very fitting for his personality, soft, cushion-like, stuffed fish. Yes, how about a stuffed perch or pike to cuddle with at night?
He has written a couple of how-to books on some pretty unlikely kinds of fishing namely flyfishing for coarse fish and fishing canals.
He maintains a pretty good blog, absolutely worth following and has even written an article for this very web site.
With that background a new book from his hands is of course interesting, and when he offered me a review copy, I jumped to it.

It took a while before I managed to read it through, at first just having time to quickly go over its richly illustrated pages, looking forward to read the text that accompanied those great drawings and photos. Now that I have read it, I actually regret that I didn't do so earlier.
It's a great read!

Fried egg fly and punk fly angler
The fried egg fly and the punk fly fisher (not connected) are in many ways very illustrative of the tone in Crooked Lines
Dominic Garnett

The book is an account of some of Garret's everyday fishing, his experiences, his hardships and successes. That fishing does in many ways remind me of the fishing most of us have: we take our chances and pursue what we can, but also seek more adventurous and exotic destinations.
Garret – like many – isn't ashamed to grab a competition pole or put a worm on a hook if that's what it takes, so this isn't a fly fishing book as such, but it's still bound to entertain any angler, fly fishers included. He tells stories from many places in the UK, but also makes the odd escape to Ireland, Norway and other places to bring great tales from many different waters hunting many different species with many different methods.
The chapters can be read separately as small diary entries or short stories, and all are really well written, tongue in cheek, well illustrated and fun. Garret has a very fine and ironic tone, which suits me very well and had me chuckling several times in each chapter. The events, persons and locations are all interesting and provide great energy for Garrett's stories.
Being a photo buff I also have to mention the photos, which are high class all the way through, and are both great illustrations as well as really good looking. Likewise with the small drawings by Lord Bunn, which have a suitably anarchistic style to create a perfect counterpoint to the beautiful and almost perfect photos.

Most books in my fairly large fishing library are how-to books, that have a very practical approach to fishing or fly tying. Books like Garnett's are more rare, but very welcome, and great to read as “real” books, one chapter at a time, in sequence, as goodnight reading laying in the bed or sitting in a comfy chair with a good single malt in the glass in front of you. I can warmly recommend Garnett in combination with a Lagavulin Cask Strength. Both are Global Class.


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