Fly Fishers' Republic

Trout from a Boat

September 5, 2013

by Peter Smitham

Trout from a Boat

Further investigation proves that assumption to be spot on!

‘Trout From a Boat’ is a hard book to get into as the sheer volume of information and years of experience within tends to overwhelm the casual reader. It is certainly encyclopaedic in its scope!

I don’t want appear critical of the book as it is stuffed with knowledge, information and entertaining stories.

It has been critisicised elsewhere for being ‘in need of a good edit’ as it was ‘too anecdotal’ and the facts ‘hidden in long rambling stories’.

I think this is a little harsh as it is part of the charm of the book. Certainly it needs to be read from cover to cover, and then read again a couple times for good measure! Only then can you begin to sift out the facts and knowledgecrammed into these pages. It is easy to miss the vital evidence that Dennis presents. He is authorative and knowledgeable, generous with his information, with no sign of subterfuge or vague references.

The facts presented in this book are formed from a lifetime of experience and empirical research and are presented  along with entertaining stories and valid arguments that have been well thought out and not ‘borrowed’ from other writers.

The book is split neatly into four parts, the first covering the practicalities of boat fishing with sections covering the basic boat handling, lines, hooks and fly choice.

Part two deals with seasonal advice for fishing English reservoirs.

Dennis’s retirement to a home near Lough Corrib in County Galway shows his love wild trout and this is the subject of Part three.

Reminiscences abound in Part four, again these are mainly experiences with Irish lough trout but translate easily to other stillwater environments.

It is difficult to highlight a particular section of the book as it is so extensive in its scope but I found the development of the intermediate line and Dennis’s involvement in the radical design of the ‘paradrogue’ intriguing. His thoughts on leader material and design are enlightening and indicative of his ability to look at a problem and solve it in a clear logical fashion and not by a mixture of dogma and guesswork.

Merlin Unwin Books have done their usual fine job of presenting this volume. Double columns to each page along with paragraphed blocks of text make for an easier read.

Supporting diagrams are well drawn and easy to comprehend, while the photographs are wonderful, sharp, clear and full of fish!

Trout from a Boat is delightful and will be my ‘go to’ book for problem solving for years to come.

Thanks Dennis!


Author: Dennis Moss
ISBN: 978 1 906122 53 9
Published: June 2013
Format: 246 x 189 mm
Binding: Paperback
No. of pages: 192
130 colour photographs
Price: £16.00