Entertaining and informative for:
general readers,
fishery managers,
budding riverkeepers
“You should have been here last Thursday”

is a well-known response from many a riverkeeper to an angler arriving at the river who tactfully enquires what the fishing has been like recently.

This book is not a ‘how to fish’ book. It is a story about a chalk stream river by a professional riverkeeper who has spent 30 years maintaining the self-sustaining wild brown trout beat of the Upper River Itchen at Martyr Worthy in Hampshire. From the last ice age to the present day an informative picture is painted of the river’s heritage, development, management, land use practices, man’s influence upon the river, what a chalk stream is and how it works. Highlights include:
§Experiences as a professional riverkeeper
§Fly-fishing, fishermen and related anecdotes
§The flora and fauna of the river
§Wild brown trout fishing and management
§Aspects of history, philosophy & science

Based on his deep love for the River Itchen, and his riverkeeping experiences, Ron describes the diverse flora and fauna, the people he has met, the work involved at home and abroad, fishery management problems, suggested philosophies and his hopes and fears ~ all told in an entertaining, anecdotal, philosophical and humorous way.

General readers, naturalists, anglers and budding riverkeepers will all find much of interest. Through his work, and this account, Ron hopes that he may have made a contribution to the ongoing evolution and care of the river and its wild brown trout residents for years to come.

Enjoy Ron Holloway’s fascinating and humorous insight into his life as a professional riverkeeper for 30 years on the River Itchen at Martyr Worthy in Hampshire.


What others have said...

John Williams:
Wild Trout Trust News - Summer 2007
This is the perfect summer holiday book. It is not a textbook. It is not an instruction manual. It is not the reminiscences of the fishing-hut bore or the bar-room expert who never had an experience that was less than revolutionary and earth shattering. This is a series of essays, in the old fashioned sense of the word, by a man who loves his subject and therefore has acquired a huge amount of inter-related knowledge to add to his day to day experiences.

Open the book where you will. There are recollections of childhood and observations of the social changes that have taken place during the last sixty years. There are analyses of the effects of geology, water levels and climate, and observations of fishes, birds and plants and the ways in which they have been affected by the human race The human race itself has not escaped without comment on the foibles and idiosyncrasies of its piscatorial members. Fishing has its place and the stories of old-time fishers are interspersed with sound information about habitat, the life requirements of fish and how to provide and improve them. Pollution and predators, fish farming and electro-fishing – all have a place.

Throughout the whole of the book there is a theme that recurs regularly: that is the author’s love of and admiration for the wild trout. He has spent a career close to nature and particularly close to the wild trout: he has made as big a contribution to the wellbeing of the fish as any one river-keeper/amateur biologist could hope to do. The Wild Trout Trust has a substantial mention.

Thought has been given to the presentation of the contents. Amongst the essays are other features such as a little poetry, a sequence of pictures of bank-work and a river-keeper’s diary for a year; different prints and different spacings inject variety for the eye of the reader. A special mention must be given to the beautiful illustrations by Marilyn Bechely; they help to set this book apart from others on your bookshelf.

And to finish with a quotation on the subject of rehabilitation, the WTT’s raison d’etre: “Do not focus solely on in-stream habitat but also look to the riparian zone and the larger catchment. Successful rehabilitation projects will be designed with an eye to the larger aquatic ecosystem in which a stream functions”

David Hinton A really good book in the best sense. This is a great read. It will be relished by fishermen and will also appeal to those who want to learn as the technical aspects are of a very high standard as you would expect from a recognised authority. It documents the true life story of a man and his passion for a river. Starting from a time when life was simpler, even if in the shadow of war, to modern day.

I think this will be enjoyed by young and old fishermen or not, either to bring back memories of a past age or conjuring up images of how life used to be for those who display curiosity for what they might have missed. A must for all those interested in the ways of the country and wanting to learn more about what makes a real craftsman and keeps his passion for a very special part of our environment.

Published:May, 2007
Style:Hardback, 288 pages + 16 pages of colour plates
Illustrations:46 colour photographs, 48 b&w photographs and 41 line drawings
Price:£25 + £2 p&p
To find out more please contact:

Tel: +44(0)1962 779944
Tel: +44(0)1835 824387

To order a copy please send your order, together with your payment (made payable to George Mann Publications), to:

George Mann Publications,
6 Malthouse Close, Easton,
Winchester, Hampshire SO21 1ES

Please provide your:
Name, full postal address, telephone number and email address.