As a young angler I was brought up on a diet of books illustrated by Bernard Venables and Keith Linsell, also a few second rate others. So I was a little sceptical about reviewing ‘Fishing with Emma’. I was concerned that it might fall into the camp of ‘second rate others’! I needn’t have worried though; this new book is great fun!
Obviously aimed at all ages and sexes, it works on many levels. It is one of the best modern instructional books for any youngster taking up the sport, and is an entertaining and well drawn comic strip for an older experienced angler.
Emma is a dead ringer for Lara Croft, drives a red Ferrari and wears decidedly none ‘carp syndicate’ attire, but with inexpensive tackle and simple rigs she takes us through each species in turn offering accurate and expert advice.
Emma’s minimalist approach is ideal for any young angler just starting out. Showing that barrow loads of tackle aren’t the only way to success.
She also practices tolerance with other water users, helping a young lad catch some big fish, tactfully fending off the sexist remarks of a local Ali G character, and taking full advantage of a narrowboats intrusion into her swim.
Writer and illustrator David Overland has a rueful sense of humour. References to Matt Hayes as a ‘genius angler’ and Emma’s various mishaps give the book a light-hearted touch, but David also has a serious side. He introduces his audience to good fish handling techniques whilst dealing with eels and pike, and shows reverence to a large eel’s great age and arduous life history.
Comparisons with ‘Mr. Crabtree’ are inevitable and this book has the same delightful appeal, but this is a thoroughly modern publication which covers all the coarse fishing bases for any young angler, male or female, taking up this marvellous sport.
I still wonder what Mr. Crabtree would think?
I’m sure, like most of us, he would love to go ‘Fishing with Emma’