Tuesday, 17 March 2009

to call him a pike fanatic would be a foolish understatement

The Domesday Book of Mammoth Pike is Fred Buller's most famous book. Fred is great. The book's forward, by controversial-in-fishing-circles Hugh Falkus, is worth the price of admission on it's own. It starts:
To call him a pike fanatic would be a foolish understatement. No Arthurian knight faced by the Holy Grail would have felt an excitement half as great as Buller’s at his discovery of a huge crumbling pike skull, forgotten for half a century in some dark attic.

Falkus then describes how Fred has corralled him into joining him on wild pike chases to lonely cottages in the haunted dusk of Irish bogs; how they have sat late at night debating the merits of some new piker’s tale. Falkus frankly admits that he and his friends thought Buller would never succeed, that Moby Pike would be forever out of range.
And yet, now the unbelievable has happened. After all these years the quest is done; the final ghost is laid; the last great fish has found its allotted place. And lo! – here is The Domesday Book of Mammoth Pike.

One reads it with incredulity. It blows the mind. The author, one feels, must be mad. What normal person would have embarked upon such a project? But is not such madness akin to genius?

That you must decide for yourself. First, sit down and read this book. It is the most remarkable piece of research in the history of angling. Like me, you may think that no man born of woman could have done it. But Fred Buller has done it. And it is wonderful.

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