Editing, Flyfishers' Journal, Writing

The Flyfishers’ Journal: Summer 2023

Earlier this year, the Flyfishers’ Club achieved an amazing coup by acquiring a cased set of six copies of Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler – representing all the versions of the book which were published in IW’s own lifetime.

To celebrate this momentous addition to the Club’s Library, we somehow persuaded the talented fly-fishing photographer (and my own good fishing pal!) Duncan Soar to shoot the books on location – and his luminous photos now take pride of place in this edition of the Flyfishers’ Journal.

By tradition, the Summer issue of the Journal always includes the announcement of the annual Peter Lapsley Award for excellent writing during the previous year, and our judging panel all observed that this year’s strongest contenders had developed noticeably environmental themes.

In the end, Graham Thomas won the latest award for his article about the River Usk, with Greg Belcamino’s account of ecological crimes against the Hoosic River as a close runner-up. In this edition, Greg’s Letter from America returns to environmental subject matter with a deep dive into the challenges facing the remaining populations of Californian steelhead, and our ‘good cause’ article comes from James Wallace, profiling the UK’s exciting new charity River Action, whose board includes river campaigner extraordinaire (and Member of the Flyfishers’ Club) Feargal Sharkey.

And finally, on a personal note, I’m very grateful to Alan Hancock for his warm and heartfelt obituary for Allan Hardy: a quiet polymath, a conservationist, and a much-missed, convivial Flyfisher. Fittingly, Allan’s own final article, published in this issue, studies the legendary huchen, which have been threatened by environmental degradation for many years, but may now be making a tentative comeback in some European tributaries of the Danube system.

(The Flyfishers’ Journal is a complimentary benefit for all Members of the Flyfishers’ Club, and it’s also available to non-members by subscription).