The Last Wild Trout


At 280 pages of text plus some colour inserts this is a serious read, but it skips along at a lively pace, tracking down weird and wonderful salmonids across the world in the wildest of places.

All Greg’s travel is done on a shoestring budget, and because he loves to trek and to camp, and invariably takes Frances along on his trips, the stories have wide appeal. He freely names names, describes access routes and points to reliable information sources. In short – no excuses – anyone can follow in his footsteps.

“Best of all, he takes time to immerse the reader in the landscape, the culture, the history, the architecture, the food, the people, the language, the flora and the fauna.” 

Best of all, he takes time to immerse the reader in the landscape, the culture, the history, the architecture, the food, the people, the language, the flora and the fauna. Importantly, these asides are succinct and effortless, drawing the reader ever deeper into the heart of his adventures.

The fly-fishing likewise is never overstated or overdone, but you come to fully appreciate the passion for wild trout that drives him. Additional conservation notes and technical species overviews are there for reference along the way.

I was a little concerned that most of Greg French’s travels have been previously documented and illustrated in FlyLife, but while some passages sounded familiar, the stories have been cleverly rejigged and supplemented, producing a very cohesive and readable book from cover to cover.

Affirm Press (Melbourne) deserves full credit for publishing this title: it’s printed in Australia too.

Order The Last Wild Trout on the FlyLife Store here:


last wild trout frontDS-600x600Further words from Greg French:

“I’m glad everyone is excited by the book. The cover shot was taken last year on the South Esk River when Peter and I were fishing with a number of other writers and guides during a fairly typical spinner hatch. This was only one of many great shots Peter took that day. The man’s a genius!”
“A little background about the new book:
When I was a child fishing Lake Sorell, many of the old hands I spoke to felt compelled to reiterate that Tasmania boasted the best lake-based brown trout fishing in the world. They didn’t fool me though. Most of them had never fished outside of the state, so how would they know?”
“In my twenties, I heard similar bravado form Kiwi anglers. The South Island had the best brown trout streams in the world, the North Island had the best rainbow trout fishing in the world.”
“Finally, in my fifties, when many of the fisheries I had come to love seemed to face all sorts of serious and imminent threats, I became obsessed with properly analyzing the quality of the trout fishing in the Antipodes. Was it worth fighting for or not?”
“Well wouldn’t you know it, the old timers were right. Tasmania and New Zealand really do have some of the best fishing in the world. It turns out that only a handful of others make the grade, though I have to say the ones which do are pretty damned spectacular.”
The Last Wild Trout, then, is a book about the intrinsic values of the world’s best remaining trout fisheries. Each chapter deals with a fishery that offers a unique type of trout, a unique fishing style, a unique fishing culture, a unique conservation issue and, crucially, a compelling human, narrative.
For me, a truly great trout fishery — a world-class fishery — must involve wild fish in wild environments. It must also provide an experience that is unique in the world. Ideally it will offer consistent opportunities for hunting down the quarry (sight fishing), though I’ve been prepared to make concessions for some culturally important fisheries, especially those centered on sea-run (anadromous) stocks or those with especially inspiring conservation stories. Finally, the fishing has to be to be good enough that typical anglers can reasonably expect success, but sufficiently complex that it provides the opportunity for a lifetime of learning and refinement.”

“Although some chapters are comprised of entirely new material, it took many years for me to fish enough waters to be able to confidently pick what I think are the world’s best, and along the way aspects of some of my travels were published in magazines and anthologies. FlyLife readers may therefore be familiar with some of my adventures, but even in these cases I have been able to add plenty of previously unpublished stories. Are you curious to know how marmot is hunted and prepared for eating in Mongolia? How fly fishing saved an Icelandic fishing guide’s life? How young Irish anglers have learned to target giant brown trout during the duckfly hatches? How much biodiversity within trout species has been lost?”
“All of this stuff is in the book, along with lots of ripping yarns and colour photographs.”
“Again, I want to stress that my travels over the last decade or so have always been designed with this book in mind, and while some passages may previously have appeared in print, this is the first time that the body of work has been presented as a whole and in context. I hope you enjoy it. More importantly I hope you gain some insight into how important it is that we maintain healthy environments and work towards the preserving the genetic integrity of all our remaining wild trout stocks.”