George Skues - Itchen Memories
Robert Hale £25.00
ISBN 0 7090 6372 5
Skues should need hardly any introduction to Waterlog readers, as the man who broke the dominance of the dry fly school and became the father of modern nymph fishing. He was a prolific and talented writer, best known for his classic Way of a Trout with a Fly. Itchen Memories is a compilation of essays and letters and while it is in no way Skues' finest work, it is a diverting read and would make a good present in this new edition, given that the original now fetches up to £120 in good condition.
The illustrations are by Alex Jardine, father of Charles, and the publishers have added a new introduction by Roy Darlington, who has fished the Abbott's Barton since the mid-seventies and by dint of much effort has managed to restore the water to its former glory. The Itchen that Skues knew is gone forever, buried under housing estates and crass road bridges, but Skues' words take me back and I will have to settle for that.
This edition is now out of print, but there are other reprints available.