This is simply the best book ever written capturing the true spirit and heart of fishing. I bought it many years ago and recently re-read it in two days - and that was only because I had to go to work !!! This will remind anyone caught up in the modern, high-tech, statistic, tackle and bait based, keeping up with the Jones's style of the roots of their sport, and will reassure those who take a gentler, 'smelling the hops along the way' approach. Delightfully written, it simply flows from page to page and lake to lake, and has a sincere and extremely evocative turn of phrase - 'the carp was like a bar of gold left out in the rain'. The friendships made and enjoyed, and the delight in the fish and the surroundings come through every page. Read and enjoy - and no, mine is not for sale.
This book evoked so many memories of my own childhood introduction to angling. I was touched by the descriptions of the willow-fringed lakes, and empathise with the author's quest for neglected, undisturbed waters. The descriptions of witnessing the 'King', along with his capture of the record fish at Redmire, were particularly thrilling. If there was one criticism I could give of this book, I concur with the author that there are 'simply too many fish'. I lost count of the number of times the silver foil rustled, and the golden flanks of a pristine carp were subsequently admired on the bank! I only meant to read a chapter or two, but once I picked this book up, I could not put it down. It left me feeling inspired, considering renewing my acquaintance with old waters, and wanting to celebrate with a fine claret.
I've read quite a few angling books by now, some classics in their own right. Indeed I've read quite a few books by now, some classics in their own right too. And I remember a handful of them all. This little glittering gemstone is among that handful.
A diary, make no mistake, of pure unadulterated obsession. A necessary obsession that is remembered vividly, crafted lovingly, and presented with a rare lyricism and warmth I found beautifully balanced & wholly immersive. And of course it is a diary of what led eventually to a huge sporting achievement, but that (I imagine with the author's intention) takes almost second stage. We get to live those days with Chris; walk the paths of his childhood memories; soak up the atmosphere of wild secret waters we'll never get to fish; get a rumbling stomach on cold mornings with him; get sent on wild goose-chases with him, laugh at and admire alike his piscatorial friends, and share in his triumphs and disasters. He invites us into the heart of what angling is all about, softly and with no judgement or snobbery.
Have this moment just finished reading Casting at the Sun,having read nearly all of Chris Yates books,this is one of his most evocative and asorbing works-a joy to read.My son who is a highly acomplished carp angler rates this book as his favourite angling book having read it over and over from his teenage years.All I can say is when I walk past the rows of bivies and sound of bleeping bite alarms on my way to a quiet corner at my local lakes,with a box of lobworms,I think of Chris Yates and invariably a line or two from a book of his,and feel a warm glow and a smile.
Chris Yates is the fisherman we all want to be; unhampered by the technologies and conveniences of this age and unimpeded by the conventional 9-5 'distractions' we face. His raw pleasure and passion jumps off the page and is truly inspirational.
Not a book for those seeking instruction, however if you want to understand what makes us return to the lake or river again and again this book is right on target.
Much, much more than 'man catches bigger and bigger fish'
When you finish this you will be a little jealous of a fishing life lived well and moreso inspired to get out there with your rods - Superb.
The angling style of Chris Yates is as different to the modern carp scene as a boilie is to a maggot. And how refreshing it is to read about an angler who obviously appreciates his surroundings as much as the fishing. And that's how it should be. Today's gadget-obsessed, macho-man approach to carp fishing is often all about catching the biggest fish and posing with it. It is so far removed from what fishing is all about. Some of us enjoy both styles but we should never lose the myth and the magic of it or how priveleged we are to be at a lily-fringed lake on a summer dawn. Chris puts it all in perspective with his wonderful writing. Even non-anglers would find this compulsive reading and you couldn't say that about many of the modern angling books.
To read a book about places I have fished is so enjoyable. I first fished Abbotsmere as a young boy in the early seventies and the magic and atmosphere described by Chris Yates is exactly how I remember it. Fantastic fishing for wild carp at a classic carp pool BB would have felt quite at home there. Llandrindod Wells not too far from Abbotsmere was another place I spent countless hours fishing, it was totally different to Abbotsmere but gave my friends and I great fun landing many many carp NO BIVVIES and using FIBREGLASS rods. I'm not sure we would want to return to fishing that way these days. Redmire was a place every carp angler wanted to fish and a chance phone call I received more than 20 years ago enabled me to spend a precious couple of days there. I was due to fish Cuttle Mill but knew I could not turn down the chance to fish "MECCA". Within two minutes of casting out from willow pitch I had a run and landed a 22lb linear mirror followed by a couple double figure commons. Well worth phoning in sick for! Casting at the Sun is a MUST read for every carp angler, capturing an atmosphere and innocent excitement missing from many carp lakes in the modern era.
What a strange book! I have read a lot of Chris's later books before this & this is really different. His others are almost romantic fiction although it's true but this was less sweet, almost a proper carp biography. It was completely refreshing though as chris has his own style of fishing but also clicks with his surroundings. It's everything that is right with carping and fishing. There were a few parts I found really funny and some that I found absolutely fascinating. The redmire parts are really special though as it really covers the important history of the pool. Well worth reading of you like history and are bored with the modern scene but also well worth reading if you enjoy more than just catching fish.