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Australian Fishing Books - A list and guide to values by Jim Finlay


Until the publication in 1991 of Bob Dunn's 19-page Bibliography in his Angling in Australia: Its history and writings (pp. 292-311) a beginning collector was very much working in the dark. Dunn's book is a masterpiece of scholarship and his bibliography, a selective list of all reasonably accessible publications on the subject, continues to be an outstanding reference for collectors of quality books about fish and fishing.

In contrast, Australian Fishing Books began as a very modest project. My plan was to build on the Dunn bibliography in two ways: to add a short list of older titles such as James Coutts Vacation Tours in New Zealand and Tasmania (1880), and to list quality books published since 1991. But over time I became committed to the idea that every contributor helps to build a body of work. The word selective defines the Dunn bibliography; inclusive better defines this volume.
In compiling Australian Fishing Books the net has been cast somewhat wider than for Bob Dunn's Bibliography. The 2004 first edition listed some 1,400 titles. This second edition lists a further 600 or so, and provides an increasingly complete picture of Australian fish and fishing in print of interest to anglers and collectors. However, any list must have its limits.
Australian Fishing Books will not teach you how to rig a fishing line or guide you to the best streams. It will not acquaint you with the history of acclimatisation or make you long for that trip to Kakadu. It is a book for men and women afflicted with a passion for books about fish and fishing. Chances are you have the affliction. You may have even passed the early stages of casual interest and occasional acquisition; just reading this book is powerful evidence that you, too, have become a collector.