Fishing and a lifetime of philosophical musings

2008-10-02 08:05

EVER chuckled at those bumper stickers that read something along the lines of “My wife says it's either her or the fishing. Hell, I'll miss her”? If so this is the book for you. As Coetzee explains in the very first story, the principles of courting a woman are really very similar to fishing. Read on.

From the Wild Coast to Gabon, and Cape Town to Lake Turkani in Kenya's northern frontier district, Fishing yourself Single is a hilarious, poignant collection of the two authors' experiences, reflections and dreams, all with a sense of awe for Africa and her waters. From run-ins with staff sergeants to scuba diving eastern seaboard coral reefs, this is Kingsley Holgate for fisherfolk.

Both men are fishing icons. Coetzee, a pioneer of salt water fly fishing in South Africa, used to be field editor for The Complete Flyfisherman and has an extensive CV from fishing guide to author. Thomassen has written for numerous publications including Tight Lines and the African Hunting Gazette and currently has a column in Inwater.

Brides-to-be reading this book (which seems highly unlikely - this is one for the Huckleberry Finn in us boys) will be suitably aghast at Thomassen's honeymoon story. As he writes, “she couldn't know how exciting fishing was. She'd never tried it.” The marriage ended in divorce. Next time he'll leave the rods at home.

Each story is a gem and a glimpse into the wild experiences to be had. For KwaZulu-Natal readers there are plenty of anecdotes from the Umkomaas, to Kosi Bay.

Why do men fish? “Not to impress our buddies, but to absorb the moment, to live in the moment,” Coetzee explains after a lifetime of philosophical musings on the end of an eight pound nylon line.

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