Antiquarian Auctions

Auction #63 begins on
23 Nov 2017 16:30 GMT

Harrison (A. Cecil)

FRESH WATER FISHING AT THE CAPE (Includes a John Beams inscribed Christmas card)

Fresh Water Fishing in the Cape South Western Districts

Published: The Cape Piscatorial Society, Cape Town, September 1949

Edition: Second

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Every so often a scarce piece of South African Angling literature crosses our palms, and this particular copy of 'FRESH WATER FISHING AT THE CAPE' is no exception. Printed in small numbers and aimed at visiting tourists, most copies would have been much thumbed over due to the limited amount of information pertaining to the waters of the Western Cape and what one could expect to find therein at the time. This particular copy however has been extremely well preserved and apart from some minor age-toning is still in near fine condition. 

20pp plus 4pp Softcover plus fold-out Map. Illustrations by Wren Sargent. Published jointly by the Cape Peninsula Publicity Association and the Cape Piscatorial Society in Cape Town. 

Ex Cape Piscatorial Society 'Exploratory Group' member signature penned to title page. (Eddie Shelton was one of the original party of Cape Piscatorial Society Exploratory Team members who researched and ultimately stocked the Jan Du Toits River, carrying Rainbow trout fingerlings in oxygenated plastic bags in their rucksacks, many miles up the hitherto unexplored kloof. Pools such as 'Fugle's Fancy' and 'Archie's Dilemma' were subsequently named by the party. 'Shelton's Run' was named after Eddie where he released his bag of fingerlings. A map to this effect, by John Beams, was published in 'Piscator' No.80.)


This little Christmas card is illustrated with a B/W image of one of John Beam's artworks. It bears his hand-written seasonal greetings followed by a question "Made any plans for Natal?" and posted from his new home in Natal to Eddie Shelton.

Author of “Introducing fly fishing in South Africa” in 1974, John Beams was also the illustrator for 'Piscator'. A commercial artist by profession, brilliantly accomplished fly fisherman, superb fly tyer....and regular taker of big fish! John Beams was also author and illustrator of many of the fine maps of the Western Cape streams that appeared in 'Piscator' over the years. He was well liked and much respected by his piers.

Apart from several other mentions in some of Tom Sutcliffe's books, Tom's tribute to Mzelwa ‘ZAK’ Gwala (originator of the Zak nymph) also includes the following mention of their old mutual  friend, John Beams;'Mzelwa ‘ZAK’ Gwala passes on – A tribute to a great man and his link to a trout fly.Thursday, 16 April 2015 07:09'"...........We speak of times gone by and of people we have known. We speak of John Beams a lot, of Hugh Huntley who he really liked, Tony Biggs, Tom Burgers, Bill Duckworth and a host of others. Zak was always more concerned with people than with fish, but eventually I get him around to the fishing and he says it’s been poor; because the rains haven’t been good, and because the winds have blown too hot for too long.............."

Dean Riphagen, Author Of 'The South African Fly-Fishing Handbook' also mentioned JB in an introduction to Tony Biggs; "While Tony has been responsible for the development of several flies in South Africa, it is his RAB that has carved a permanent place for him in South Africa's fly fishing annals. Tony was born in Britain and after moving to South Africa, he cut his teeth on the fine freestone waters of the Western Cape. He fished a great deal with the late Mark Mackereth, an angler renowned for his angling skill, particularly with dry flies, and it was Mackereth, along with John Beams and Tom Sutcliffe, who ultimately influenced Tony's fishing style and fly tying philosophies."

  • Binding Condition: Fine
  • Overall Condition: Near fine
  • Size: 216mm x 138mm
  • Sold By: Booktown Africana
  • Contact Person: Chris Shelton
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 27 83 6001962
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Internet banking transfer (EFT), PAYPAL. Regret no Credit Card facility.
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved

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