Reid (Arthur H.)

TROUT & ANGLING IN SOUTH AFRICA ("Excessively rare" - Frank Bradlow)

Published: The Specialty Press of S.A., Ltd, Johannesburg / Cape Town, 1921

Edition: First

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101pp. Original cloth hardcover with gilt title and embossed motif of a leaping trout to front cover. Several black and white photo illustrations and three pages with line drawings, all present as called for. (Frank Bradlow mentions two line drawings. There are in fact four pages with line drawings in this copy.)

Partial sympathetic re-backing to spine with calf leather with a  leather raised band between the cloth from the leather. The title has been hand-engraved on the leather. The edges and corners of the book have a few bumps and abrasions, mainly on the back cover. Previous owner's name is neatly penned to front fixed end-paper. Apart from fairly heavy foxing to EPs, both front and rear the end-papers are still in very good shape with absolutely no cracking. The front EP foxing carries through, albeit to a slightly lesser extent, to the title page. The rest of the contents are devoid of foxing throughout. One page (photograph included herewith) has a small chunk torn from the outer margin that does not affect the text. The binding is relaxed but secure. Despite the flaws this extremely scarce book is highly presentable. 

'This book, the sixth trout-fishing book dealing with South Africa, and probably the fifth to be printed and published in this country, has a fairly simple title page as follows: Trout & Angling in South Africa / by Arthur H. Reid / publishers imprint / The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd. / Johannesburg, Cape Town / 1921.

Written in rather pedantic Victorian prose, this book was to arouse the ire of the famous "Kingfisher", Fred Bowker, because of Reid's suggestion that the Eerste River rainbows were anadromous, and that many had "been to the sea or estuary and it is well known that many have been taken by the fishermen's nets in False Bay and offered for sale in Somerset Strand" (p.72).

In his opening chapter, Reid, in ponderous prose, writes, "May I therefore premise by assuring the reader that I desire to abstain from all dogmatic propositions and offer every apology to those experienced anglers who may disagree with my opinions". Fred Bowker was certainly one of those who disagreed, as we shall see. The book consists of 101 pages in all, plus preliminaries, and has 21 photographic illustrations and two line drawings. The 51 chapters are short, mainly instructional and descriptive, with some thoughts on "anglers one meets", "overgrown streams", "wind and weather" and other subjects. 

Despite its pedantic style it must have been of assistance to beginners and other anglers. Incidentally, this book, too, is excessively rare, and the only two copies I know of are the one I own and the one owned by A.C.H.

It is bound in boards with brown cloth and has a leaping trout die-stamped on the cover.' Frank Bradlow, Piscator No. 89 Summer, 1973/74, page 109.

As a born and bred Capetonian flyfisherman myself, I can attest to a report in one of the local newspapers that my dad told me about in the early 1970's, where a trout was caught by trek fisherman off Macassar beach. So, Reid was not so far off in his 'suggestions' afterall! Perhaps then.... more of what he claimed to be possible should be viewed as credible.... and less of what Fred Bowker 'Kingfisher' ridiculed him about should be taken seriously - Chris Shelton 04/07/1922

  • Binding Condition: fair
  • Overall Condition: good
  • Size: 220 x 143 x 17mm
  • Sold By: Booktown Africana
  • Contact Person: Chris Shelton
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 0685615292
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Internet banking transfer (EFT), PAYPAL. Regret no Credit Card facility.
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved

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