Just like any other monster, salmon of over 50lb in weight quickly become the stuff of legend, and anglers are always keen to hear more about them. Thus, it was no surprise that Fred Buller’s original book The Domesday Book of Giant Salmon became a modern classic, and, equally unsurprising amongst anglers, it spawned a legion of further stories and follow-ups to what he’d already written.

Thus, just three years later, he has compiled enough extra material to produce Volume II, which contains 50 new entries of monsters, and a further 24 updated entries with twelve background studies.

In addition, the author logs a further 17 incidents of capture ‘by any other method’ of fish over 60lb. Here, Fred Buller, thirsty for piscatorial knowledge, follows up the stories like a sleuth, including travelling to Loch Eriboll to discover more about the 109lb fish that a poacher caught in his net in 1960 in the Hope estuary.

The new volume also unearths a fascinating, personal, written account by Georgina Ballantine of her record salmon. We learn of her thoughts on the day of the capture of Britain’s most famous fish, which happened because the laird had a headache and decided not to fish, so Georgina hurried to finish her household chores so she could fill the vacancy. She goes on to describe the 125-minute fight in detail.

These are the fish of dreams, and it’s a reassuring thought that every salmon caught on fly over 50lb has its own label (‘Esmond Bradley Martin’s 551/2lb Grand Cascapaedia Salmon’, for instance) and its own chapter in history, recorded here in this book, along with records of the people that caught them. It presents a strong argument against those who believe we treat our quarry without compassion and respect. Indeed, much of these stories contain photographs of fish of such magnitude that perhaps awe would be a more appropriate description.

Burgeoning with heavyweight photographs, Volume II becomes the essential companion to the Volume I. Each angler who leafs through the pages will do so with the nerve-tingling realisation that the next entry for Volume III might, with luck, be themselves.