When it comes to fly fishing, the transformation from beginner to artist is something many of us long for, something that we would undoubtedly enjoy. Especially if achieving artist status requires nothing more than “short, plain, easy instructions and a little time”. The Gentleman Angler, an English text published in 1726, promises us just such a transformation. Whether the book delivers or not—readers will have to decide that for themselves—I’m rather struck by the author’s brash confidence and optimism. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be. After all, he’s a fisherman. A fisherman writing to other fishermen.