The PurePiscator.com 'Hall of Fame'

H T Sheringham

Chris:

The world of angling - or at least angling literature, owes a great debt to a meeting between two anglers on the banks of the River Lambourn near Newbury in September 1903. The two anglers in question were William Senior and Hugh Tempest Sheringham. Senior aka 'The Red Spinner' was editor of The Field and he offered Sheringham the position of Angling Editor, a post he held for the next 27 years until his untimely death from cancer at the age of 54. Thus was started a rich vein of angling literature by which many other 20th Century angling writers would be judged (and many would be found wanting!!). In fact Chris Yates has at some time been given the sobriquet 'The Best Angling Writer Since Sheringham'!

If you've never read any Sheringham (shame on you) then you're in for a treat. A Sheringham anthology came out about 15 years ago edited by Tom Fort. Titled An Angler for All Seasons it is 24 articles culled from 4 of Sheringham's books and from pieces he wrote for The Field and The Journal of The Flyfishers Club. It is the perfect place to get to know this sublime writer.

Sheringham was an eclectic angler equally at home with game fishing as well as coarse - so there is something for everyone in his writing. In fact - quite unusually for his day HTS, dispensed with some tired old conventions, as the introduction to his book Coarse Fishing puts it - "Salmon fishing is good; trout fishing is good; but to the complete angler neither is intrinsically better than the pursuit of roach, or tench, or perch or pike." Unlike HTS, you certainly wouldn't have got Halford writing an article entitled 'In Praise of Chub'!

This angling creed can be found through out his writings - none more so than in the 'Some Kennet Days' where sessions with the dry fly are interrupted to fish the worm for roach, dace and perch. Pick up almost ANY angling anthology and you'll likely bump up against some of Sheringham's writing - his famous paragraph on 'LUCK' is quoted in A Passion for Angling.

Sheringham writes with a fresh, elegant and expressive style. He was and still is very accessible - you can easily relate to his triumphs and his blanks. His humour and wit shine through and the stories will often leave you with a wry, knowing smile! Sheringham speaks to you as an equal and although some of the words printed in this book first saw the light of day nearly 100 years ago anglers of today will still enjoy them.

A shoe in for the HOF - surely!

 

Inducted on 19/01/2009

 
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