Just before Christmas last year, I got a call from a German design and publishing house which was working on a big new fly-fishing book project and needed another writer to join Andrew Herd to pick up some interviews at short notice.
Would I like to come on board?
Took me about 3 seconds to answer that one.
After all, it’s not every day that you get to interview and write profiles on new media ambassadors and campaigners like Maddie Brenneman, Zan Kuncic and Rok Rozman of Leeway Collective, Chase and Aimee Bartee of Tight Loops, Fred Campbell of Hooké, and Jonas Borinski of Brothers on the Fly.
Somehow, among all the interviewing and profile-writing, I also managed to get the Gestalten folks interested in the idea of including an extra chapter on urban fly-fishing and river-mending, complete with Duncan’s epic-scale photos of one of our missions to Manchester, a couple of autumns back.
And just like that, three months later, The Fly Fisher: The Essence and Essentials of Fly Fishing is here.
As you’d hope and expect from a design-led publisher whose own website says…
Gestalten is best known for its more than 600 books about contemporary creative culture, the majority of which are conceived in house. They document and anticipate vital movements in design, lifestyle, illustration, architecture, fashion, photography, travel, and art. Providing both inspiration and practical value, they explore new creative fields in ways not yet seen before
… this is a book that’s beautiful to look at, packed with full-colour, full-bleed photography.
It’s full of forward-thinking messages too. Urban fly-fishing is just one of several strong, contemporary environmental stories, alongside Brothers on the Fly and their new-media promotion of causes like catch and release, and Leeway Collective’s efforts to save many Balkan rivers which are threatened by hydropower developments. (In time, I think you might see more of this from me).
And of course (not to get too political or anything) at a time when many people and nations seem to be getting so much more isolated and inward-looking, this book stands as positive proof that contributors from countries all over the world can come together to produce something globally collaborative and absolutely epic.
I’m sure the fact it’s all about fly-fishing isn’t just a coincidence. At all.