BOOK REVIEW: Desert Fishing Lessons by Adam Kereszy

THIS 240-page book is subtitled Adventures in Australia’s Rivers, which pretty much sums up the subject matter. While Kerezsy starts his tale with an account of him live baiting a metre-plus kingfish off the rocks as a teenager, it doesn’t take long to realise that as he’s aged he’s become a man who loves fish, and the remote rivers that the freshwater fish he studies call home, even more than fishing.

The book is part travel yarn, part road trip and part science. There are accounts of catching big numbers of redfin, of bow hunting carp (and getting in trouble), of being bushed in the Kimberley and of impaling his long-suffering partner Alison with a badly directed catfish lob. Kerezsy writes with a deceptively easy style – laconic and at times very funny – with some yarns almost reminiscent of a young Paul Hogan.

But there are serious messages in this thoroughly researched book, delivered without any indication that you’re being preached to. The tone is in no way strident. You get a feel for the Western rivers and their regional characters via an entertaining narrative and photos, but at the same time are made aware of what is threatening to their respective continued existences.

Kerezsy discusses big environmental issues of great interest to anglers, including the risks posed by invasive species such as carp and redfin, and threats to local fish populations through translocation and restocking of the “wrong” fish. He puts the current Murray Darling Basin dramas into a sensible focus. He doesn’t seek to label players in the debate as “good guys” or “bad guys”, rather to analyse the key issues, such as historic water over-allocation. He advances a plea for cooperation in holding onto remote rivers as yet not seriously damaged, and for fixing those that have been degraded.

It’s all done with wit, style and grace. If you’ve been to any of our remote river systems, you’ll relate to the story he tells. If you haven’t, the book will give you a taste of what they’re like. It’s published by UWA Publishing (The University of Western Australia, ).

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.