W. H. Canaway was a game fisherman. He doesn’t despise the immaculate calm of the chalk water but he revels in the smash and grab of the mountain or moorland stream.
Such a river is Gwyrfai as it comes rolling off the granite shoulder of Snowdon. You may never have heard of the Gwyrfai, but that is scarcely the point. The Gwyrfai (pronounce it more or less to rhyme with ‘swervy’) is typical of fifty other rivers in north Wales and Scotland. Its problems are the ones that many a holiday trout fisherman faces when he visits a hill district.
The river holds fighting brown trout, but also has a good run of sea trout and salmon. It can be fished wet and it can be fished dry: it can even be spun if you are so inclined. At its mouth you will find everything including giant bass scouring the sands for food.
Mr Canaway, whose first fishing book A Creel of Willow was a rare gem, deals with all species and all techniques in a narrative style as lively and well-paced as the stickle at the tail of a sea trout pool. In his appendices he gives every practical detail the visitor may wish to know from choice of flies to licence fees.