Elite Barbel is Tony Miles latest book telling his part in the story of Adams Mill and Kickles Farm and the huge barbel that inhabit these venues.
Published by The Little Egret Press a company devoted entirely to publishing fishing books this is an eagerly anticipated title (at least on my part).
First impressions of this book are excellent - the finish being truly exquisite. Cloth bound, featuring nice heavy paper and a gorgeously painted dust jacket depicting a barbel in the net just ooze a quality product. As well as the outside appearance the inside is exceptionally presented with some wonderful line drawings by the publisher Tom o Reilly (of Little Egret Press) and a section of colour plates.
So a good exterior and appearance but the key question: Is the content any good?
Elite Barbel contains 142 pages with over 100 drawings / black and white pictures and a colour section. A brief foreword by Phil Smith is followed by Tony detailing his experiences on these two venues. Lots of the early content is lifted almost verbatim from his articles in the monthly press and any regular reader of Coarse Fisherman will certainly have read parts before. Don't let this put you off however as there is plenty of extra detail added. If you are interested in Tony's tactics then this book covers them in a fair amount of detail with the second half of the book featuring specific chapters on clear water and flood water fishing both illustrated by accounts of particular sessions. Tony gives information on his rigs and methods depending on certain conditions. He also covers his bait theories and experiments in the books longest chapter devoted specifically to this subject. As well as specific tactical chapters the book tells of some of his more memorable sessions both successful and otherwise. Most of these accounts are used as aids to discuss his tactical thinking before, during and after a session. This makes the book very readable and much more interesting than a straight description of his tactics and baits.
All in all I think this is an excellent read which any barbel angler could gain tips from to improve their fishing as well as providing entertainment along the way. Lots of the book is thought provoking and I'm sure would give any angler plenty of ideas to work on in their own sessions. If you enjoyed Quest for Barbel and Tony's regular articles in the monthly press then I think you will find this an enjoyable and enlightening read which is up to date on modern tactics. As stated above some of the content is not new but there is enough new stuff to keep most people happy and the old stuff is explored and further developed.
Elite Barbel is available through the BFW Shop or from Little Egret Press through their website The Little Egret Press at a price of �24.95 plus P and P.
Overall a 9 out of 10