Hill, Les and Marshall, Graeme – Stalking and Catching Trout

Stalking & Catching Trout by Les Hill and Graeme Marshall

Stalking & Catching Trout by Les Hill and Graeme MarshallStalking and Catching Trout

by Les Hill and Graeme Marshall

Published by The Halcyon Press. First published 2005. ISBN 1-877256-57-9. Size: 250mm x 190mm. 198 pp total. Colour photographs. Excellent line drawings by Grant Winter.

Stalking and Catching Trout is a wondrous celebration of New Zealand trout fishing. An instantly appealing volume to everyone who has experienced both the joy and frustration associated with catching a wild trout on an impossibly small fly!

Les Hill and Graeme Marshall pass on their considerable knowledge so that the reader might better understand how to go about catching a trout.

Stalking and Catching Trout is beautifully illustrated with splendid colour photographs and very good line drawings contributed by Grant Winter. The tremendous quality of the photography brings the awesome back country scenery of New Zealand to life. The pictures alone are worth the price of the book!

The book is divided into two parts: The first is Stalking Trout and covers the basics of where to look for fish, what they might be eating, where they could be hiding, and most importantly how to sneak up on them without their noticing your approach.

New Zealand is blessed with many lakes both large and small. Almost all of them hold substantial populations of both browns and rainbows. However, lakes offer a different angling challenge. Just how do you go about catching a trout in the watery vastness of a large lake? Hill and Marshall take the reader on a journey around the shoreline looking at likely feeding areas such as stream mouths, river deltas, outlets, drop-offs, weed beds, channels and inlets, together with seasonal and daily patterns of trout activity.

In the second part of the book the author’s move on to how to go about Catching Trout? It includes advice for those inclined to seek a magnificent New Zealand Trophy Fish, outlines why fishing blind is a bit of a misnomer and looks at which fishing method to employ, when and why. An interesting story is related about a visiting American angler told – presumably by Les Hill – about how this bloke “Al” was a very successful businessman who stated he was also an experienced and competent exponent of the fly rod for catching trout.

His guide, on the other hand, considered his skills to be somewhat limited. He had an alarming tendency to bash and crash about on the riverbank ensuring that all the fish had bolted before he had even cast a line. Probably just as well for his misdirected casting would only have frightened off the fish anyway! I guess we have all known an “Al” at one time or another. Perhaps we recognise a bit of “Al” in ourselves. But the message is clear: a trout angler should never stop learning!

Stalking and Catching Trout is a wonderful book. It is full of excellent advice to improve your catch rate. It is aimed at all trout anglers whatever their skill level. There are plenty of amusing stories and great photographs. I highly recommend you get a copy. – Allan Burgess