Get 30 people together, united only by a common love for fly fishing and the waters of South Uist - an island off the northwest coast of Scotland - have them share their favorite experiences while there, and you get Tales from The Angler’s Retreat from Muddler Books.
As you’d expect when you put this many fishermen together who aren’t writers; you get a few whose story is a little hard to get through. However, there are others who tell their tale so well that you’re right there in the boat with them.
One of my favorite parts of the book was a short story written by angler Pete Matthews titled, “The Gap in the Causeway on Castle Loch.” Three guys and a dog are motoring up on a causeway, with two of them having a friendly disagreement on whether the boat can make it over the causeway just below the surface with low water conditions. The man on the motor thinks they can make it, and before you know it, the other two are bracing for their lives momentarily before everyone in the boat is catapulted into the air, including the poor dog in the front of the boat.
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that at times, it felt a bit like an advertisement for The Angler’s Retreat. But what I really liked, in fact loved, was the book’s concept.
Also included in the book are recommended flies for South Uist. Some patterns are semi-familiar, such as the Red Tailed Muddler. Others are foreign, such as the Green Peter. There are also maps of the island and its lochs.