How to Fish is an unabashed, unashamed celebration of the joys of fishing. It is about contentment, calm and solitude, rivers and river banks, losing track of time and, of course, the fish themselves. For those who already enjoy fishing it is a love letter to their art and for those who don’t – yet! – it is an insight into a life spent getting up at the crack of dawn and, armed with rod and line, heading for water…
Though new to American readers, Yates is well known in the U.K. as a journalist and TV presenter, and also for catching what was, in 1980, the biggest fish in the history of English fishing. In his new book, Yates has set out to capture the thoughts and stories that came to him as he sat on the riverbank and waited for a bite. Among fishermen in the U.S., philosophy and poetry are usually the domain of trout fly fishers, but Yates applies these two abstractions to bait fishing for such unrefined-sounding fish as chub, barbell, gudgeon and perch. In his accessible and occasionally lyrical prose, Yates sums up a year on a river in chapter-long musings on a host of fishing and non-fishing topics, such the topography of a river, the weather, his youth, the bird-like beauty of a perch and the essentially British notion of the restorative powers of tea. The book is also filled with practical and tactical advice about how best to land a whale of a perch. Because of Yates s intelligent observations and his pure dedication to his sport (it is his belief that man was born to fish ), this book will be of interest to anglers on both sides of the Atlantic.