Arthur Ransome Trust

Putting Ransome on the Map

Mainly About Fishing

Background to Mainly About Fishing

In 1944 Ransome proposed to his fishing friend Charles Renold that they work together on a book, on the subject of fishing flies. Jonathan Cape agreed to publish it, under the title A Plague of Flies.

A Plague of Flies was never published. This was largely because of problems with the numerous colour plates on which the book depended. But much of the material Ransome wrote for it was later incorporated into Mainly About Fishing, as were several later essays.

This was the last book that Ransome published during his lifetime.


Mainly About Fishing contains 20 essays, notably Salmon Chew Gum: the Story of the Elver Fly, in which Ransome describes his invention of the Elver Fly.

First publication

Published by Adam & Charles Black in February, 1959.


  • Out of Print

Ransome's drawing of a cormorant eating a fish, our fishing literature logo, used for Mainly About Fishing

Also in Fishing Literature

Continue exploring Ransome’s bibliography:

Ransome's drawing of two children discovering a cave, our discover ransome logoRansome's drawing of a wooden hut in snow, our bibliography logoRansome's drawing of a dog on weighing scales, our books by ransome logoRansome's drawing of two flags, our swallows and amazons series logoRansome's drawing of a parrot, our story telling logoRansome's drawing of a hand holding a candle, our literary criticism logoRansome's drawing of two children in a boat, our sailing literature logoRansome's drawing of a cormorant eating a fish, our fishing literature logoRansome's drawing of a crucible held in iron bars, our political literature logoRansome's drawing of a pestle and mortar, our essay collections logoRansome's drawing of an armadillo, our world about him logoRansome's drawing of three pigeons, our autobiography logo