BOOK REVIEW: “FISHING SENSE”

by Jon Novoselac

Image of Fishing Sense cover

As I’ve said before, I started my fly fishing journey only a couple of years ago. So I like to read. A lot. Blogs written by other anglers, online forums… and books. Lots of books. I’m slowly creating my own little fly fishing library – Philip Weigall’s latest book occupies an important spot there.

I like this book so much I’ve purchased two copies. I gave my first to Tom Knoth when we went fishing on the Tuolumne in the Sierra Nevada. It didn’t take long before another copy was on my bookshelf.

With more than 40 years of experience behind him, the author is an authority. When others here in Australia are talking about how tough the fishing is due to a hot summer and cormorants, he proves the fish (and the fishing) are just fine.

This book includes what Philip calls his fly fishing “truths”. And it’s written in such a way that the reader needn’t start at the beginning of the book to discover them. Find yourself thinking about drag-free drifts? Page 69 has some great information. Structure? Read “Cover”, starting on page 91. Wondering how your catch-rate is affected by all those other people fishing at your favourite spot? “Fishing Pressure” covers that.

Philip makes more sense about those variables than most. He also covers water level, temperature, light, retrieves, drifts, and much more.

Each chapter starts with stories from his fly fishing filled past that are relevant to the lesson at hand. The chapter called “Hiding” includes a particularly interesting anecdote about a time when he joined a couple of fisheries scientists on an electro-fishing expedition, who, of course, held “all the right permits”.

“The next pool was bigger, perhaps 10 metres long and half a metre deep, with a small log lying diagonally across its sandy bottom. Once again, a careful search of the pool before we stepped in showed no sign of a trout, but based on the previous pool, I was confident the electro-fisher would reveal a pounder or two hiding in there somewhere. Ian’s backpack hummed again, he stuck the device in the water, and suddenly there were fish going everywhere. And they weren’t pannies, but beauties – huge spawners of two to three kilograms, no doubt migrants from the large river downstream.”

Thank you, Philip, for such a fascinating window into the secretive, hidden world of trout.

Philip has written seven other books. The others include “Fly Waters – Victoria & Snowy Mountains”, “Fishing Season”, “Trout Stories”, “Victorian Fly Water”, “Call of the River”, “The River Behind the Hill” and “Trout’n About”.

Oh. He’s also a guide at Millbrook Lakes. I’ve just booked a trip there this coming July. I’m pretty sure I’ll need some serious winter clothing at that time of year as I step into Cabin Lake.

Do you think I care?

Can’t wait!

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