Lofty’s Log – Memoirs of a New Zealand Angler
by D.L. Rutherford (Lofty)
Published by John McIndoe Ltd. First published 1989 – ISBN 0 86868 177-2. Size: 230mm x 150mm. 152 pp total. Some colour and black and white photographs. Also, several line art maps. Softcover colour cover.
A note by the author at the front of Lofty’s Log states that these writings were never intended to be a book, just a record of fishing stories for the family, suggested by my daughter, Diana. Lofty’s Log was published in 1989 when the author was in his 80th year. He recounts a lifetime fishing for trout, hunting and adventuring in and around some of the South Island’s legendary waters including the Mavora Lakes, the Nevis, Oreti, Lake Alabaster, Lake McKerrow and the Martin’s Bay and Hollyford areas back in the 1940s when the trout were large and plentiful, and the fishing of a kind present day anglers can only dream of. You will be amazed at just how big some of the trout were in the early days!
The author also writes of some angling in Canada, the USA and Alaska.
Lofty Rutherford’s stories are enthralling, sometimes funny, sometimes very sad. They give us a glimpse into another time and place. Lofty was perhaps the first New Zealander to hunt and shoot a wild boar in New Zealand with a bow and arrow back in 1940. He also dealt to the rabbit population of Central Otago whenever the chance arose. Back in those days, the bunnies were “as thick as the blades of grass in a meadow.”
Lofty possibly shot the first boar in New Zealand with a bow and arrow in 1940. In those days you couldn’t buy bows and arrows in New Zealand and so had to make your own. The arrows, in particular, were very precious each taking three hours to make. Fortunately, Lofty’s dog Pip was an expert at finding and recovering the fired arrows!
There was a period of war service until mid-1944 which put a temporary halt to fishing and hunting for a time.
I highly recommend you read Loft’s Log. It is very interesting and well written even if it was intended for the family only! The pictures in the book are also very interesting, particularly those old black and white pictures of early trout captures and game shoot with Lofty’s homemade bow and arrows.