Bluffer’s Guide to Fishing

What the publisher says

The Bluffer’s Guide to Fishing

Instantly acquire all the knowledge you need to pass as an expert in the world of fishing. Know what to say, what not to say, what to do on the water, what to do in the water, and what excuses to make if you can’t put a lugworm on a hook or take a 12lb rainbow off one. Never again confuse a bonefish with a kipper, a PVA bag with a popper, or a gozzer with a Hairy Mary. Bask in the admiration of your fellow fishermen as you pronounce confidently on the comparative literary merits of Izaak Walton, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Torday, and JR Hartley. Above all, know exactly how to hold your own against the sort of fishing fantasist who claims that he once wrestled a 200lb Giant Trevally into submission on a river bank in outer Mongolia. (Hint: look him in the eye and say: ‘Really? I thought the “GT” was more likely to be engaged in combat on a remote Tahitian atoll.’)

Written by experts and offering readers the opportunity to pass off appropriated knowledge as their own, the Bluffer’s Guides provide hard fact masquerading as frivolous observation in one witty, easy read.

What we say

If you are looking for something different and just a bit of fun, particularly as a gift perhaps for anyone struggling to understand the addiction (or is it affliction?) we call fishing then this is the book you need.  If that special someone still wants to try and communicate with you and your buddies, and learn how bluff their way through ‘speaking the language’ to gain acceptance, then the Bluffer’s Guide to Fishing will be their salvation.

There are some great quotes and observations along the way and no discipline is missed. Fly Fishing, coarse fishing, sea and big game fishing all get covered to discover the nuances of language and bluffing bravado needed to get by in any situation.

“Fishermen are born honest, but they get over it.”

Ed Zern, To Hell with Fishing

It covers potentially tricky situations when the bluffer might be asked a question about fishing by a non-angler such as the ‘why do you go fishing’ staple. They will need to be prepared and one of the book’s suggestions is to go down the ‘It’s the peace and quiet’ route… ” ‘Why do I go? It’s hard to explain.’ Make brief eye contact, then look away wistfully into the middle distance and repeat: ‘Let’s just say there’s more to fishing than catching fish.’ Ooh, aren’t you mysterious?

Fly fishers and fly fishing are explained in their own chapter called “Game, Net and Catch” which actually drifts away from the bluffing theme for a while and into more of a comedic description of the sport before catching itself and returning to it’s core theme. “For the bluffer, there’s an obvious choice if you want to catch game fish on the fly. Still-water commercial trout fisheries …  You’ll soon notice that these fisheries have more rules (about fish limits, catch and release, etc.) than a health and safety notice board, and it’s important to acquaint yourself with them so as to blend in properly … or risk being unceremoniously chucked out.”

On the traditional angler for example the book explains…”Traditional anglers prefer rivers (because most modern angler don’t), small ponds and out-of-the-way lakes. They love going to Ireland or to those funny counties in the middle of England that aren’t quite the South and definitely are not in the North – like Shropshire or Lincolnshire – where they can disappear in a fog of pipe tobacco and gorge themselves on toasted tea cakes and pints of Old Scrote.

Bluffers are advised to stay away from pole fishing as “in the hands of a novice, poles are instantly transformed into something hideous unwieldy, like watching a drug in full armour trying to thread a needle with a 15-metre lance.” Solid advice, as is the last nugget of wisdom saved for the final page.

Never, ever, put maggots in your mouth to warm them up and make them wriggle on a winter’s day. It works, but by God, you’ll wish you hadn’t…



This book and others in the Bluffer’s series, covering everything from bluffing your way through Opera, Jazz, Wine and Golf, are available via their website at – Price £6.99


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