by Jon Novoselac


Second in this wonderful series by Derek Grzelewski, “The Trout Bohemia” is just as good as “The Trout Diaries”, if not better. Even though I love reading fishing books, it took me longer than planned to getting around to this one. Life has a way of delivering curveballs that sometimes demand your undivided attention.

One of my favourtie parts is when the author meets up with guide Miles Rushmer to fish the small streams near Bay of Plenty. Pursuing enormous brown trout in the most confined of spaces, Messrs Rushmer and Grzelewski resort to some advanced stalking and bow and arrow casting techniques. Miles featured in one of the films profiled at last year’s RISE Fly Fishing Film Festival. In “Levithan”, he demonstrated these techniques first hand, and the electric fishing that comes about as a result.

As if hundreds of pages full of lucid and colourful details about his latest fishing exploits aren’t enough, Derek includes stories about the challenges faced by many of us with regards to life – and love. Along the way he figures out some of the answers. But like most of us, the answers to many questions wait patiently. In the mean time, we might as well keep fishing.

As a consequence, this book sometimes reads like a novel. Other times, it’s a guide book with useful information about specific parts of this island nation I call “heaven on earth”. At other times, you might think it’s a conservation piece.

Like “Diaries”, the book includes a few nicely arranged photos, courtesy of Grzelewski. One, of the Tongariro, is of an exact spot I have fished. Seeing it, I enjoyed a satisfying sense of camaraderie. Perhaps Derek would like to fish with me – and vice versa. And the illustrations in the second book in this series are by a new artist: Stella Senior. They add to the gentle feeling communicated by Derek’s musings.

Finally, this edition has a fantastic conclusion. With an epilogue that covers more than six pages, it’s wrapped-up really well. And the whole book is just so damned easy to read. I finished it in around three days. It was over the Christmas holidays and I wasn’t working, but even if I was busier, it’d be pretty easy to finish it quite quickly.

Looking forward to reading Derek’s next literary offering.