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4.3 out of 5 stars118
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 3 February 2000
Not surprisingly, this classic angling text has been continuously in print since first publication. Although serving as a fascinating reflection on the art of angling during the seventeenth century, the text still manages to capture the thrill and excitement that runs through the bloodstream of every modern-day dangler of the angle. All present day anglers, from the most fanatical of bivvy boys to the gentle chalk stream dabbler will gain pleasure and enjoyment from this most seminal of angling texts.
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on 6 December 2008
Whether you are new to 'The Art Of The Angle' [Fishing] or not, this book contains some superb, if a little archaic banter between two friends of the angle. The teacher and the apprentice. Sir Isaac Walton, [Piscator], considered to be 'The Father Of Angling' and Joseph Cotton [Venator] the willing apprentice of the angle. Follow their journey around England as they fish for all species. This is a wonderful journey back in time. Many things that Walton says have been disproved over the few hundred years since the first book was published. However many other things said by him, still hold true today, wonderful reading. My own copy is a 1955 version with an explained thesaurus at the base of each page.
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on 4 May 2005
Walton uses the perspective of an enthusiastic angler to promote a lifestyle of reflectiveness, gentle humor, and appreciation for nature. The book is easy to read, despite being first published in the 1600s.
The Coachwhip Publications reprint edition (ISBN 1930585209) is inexpensive and contains Cotton's "Part 2," written at Walton's request for the fifth published edition of "The Compleat Angler."
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on 22 May 2006
This is surely one of the earliest books available to the modern angler. But it's worth distinguishing 'anglers' from 'fishermen'. I take 'anglers' to be people who go after fish for fun or sport or pleasure and 'fishermen' to be people who go after fish for work.

The first thing to be said about Izaak Walton's book, is that it is a play followed by a text book. The second thing, is that it's in a foreign language even to the English, because it was first published in 1653 when the author was 60. A ripe old age in England in those days.

Walton was essentially a biographer. He got paid for it - often commissioned as a good artist might. He wrote 'The Life of Donne' - a poet who even I've heard of. He's alleged to have been a prosperous merchant, but it doesn't really matter. Great angling writers like Richard Walker were engineers. Old school writers like George Skues, were public school educated solicitors in London practices who took the train to the chalk streams of Winchester in Hampshire at weekends, tying flies as they went.

The play concerns three people who meet by chance and get into conversation about their interests. They're travelling at a walk, and so they lighten their journey with convoluted conversation. Before long, it develops into a bit of a competition. Walton is the angler (Piscator). Another gentleman is keen on falconry (Venator) and yet another is keen on hunting (Auceps).

If you tire of 17th century banter, skip forward to the chapters on each particular species of fish, which will ring true immediately. To me it's a revelation that these friendly old fish will still fall for the same tricks as Walton was playing on their ancestors over 350 years ago.
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on 16 August 2010
Isaak Walton's "the Compleat Angler" is one of those books often referred to but seldom found on a home bookshelf. It's taken many years to adorn mine.
It takes the form of a discourse between the Angler and a 'student' where the angler describes everything at need. While this could cause a certain confusion in the reader (it's like reading a script), it is marvellously detailed. Predictably, it is in the language of the 17th century, but this can make for an interesting read.
Highly recommended.
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on 25 May 2014
Sir Izaak Walton, a man of the 1600's who enjoyed the "sport" of Angling although in those days they ate the Coarse fish they caught, frowned upon today by the "modern angler". Walton (Piscator) is teaching Joseph Cotton (Venator) the "ART" of angling and his hints and tips are still relevant today. A really good read even if written in the lyrical prose of that earlier time. You find yourself transported back to when the hustle and bustle of modern cities, would have been a figment of the imagination.
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on 6 August 2015
A completely outdated book in so many ways, yet but with a charm that surely makes it an absolute 'must have' for even the most modern contemplative angler. Surely a must have for any fisher. The observation of 'The contemplative mans pastime' is so apt with regard the Complete Angler. I just had to have a copy on my kindle.

The most entertaining hard copy I have found, thus far, is the 'Routledge Warnes & Routledge' edition marked 1859. This being edited by one 'Ephemera' who has a very ready pen and created very generous footnotes to so many pages, with so much by way of instruction, much of which is complete and utter bunkum, his free criticism of Walton and Cotton, makes the whole book glow, and is well worth the acquisition if you ever come across such an edition. I found mine in a Junk shop for pennies, the greatest fishing buy of my life !
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on 19 September 2013
So I have been an angler for over 40 years and have many books on this subject but not this one and as it is set in the very old days and sayings it is interesting to read on a cold winters night in the warm and a nice wine it is good
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on 15 December 2009
The Compleat Angler: Or, the Contemplative Man's Recreation

Excellent service, book was delivered promptly.
The quality of the book is good. The content is as expected and complete.
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on 10 June 2013
Izaak Walton used to fish in the River Dove with Charles Cotton in Beresford Dale, Derbyshire, Staffordshire border. Charles Cotton owned Beresford Hall, near where I used to live and has a lot of interesting history. Izaac Walton was a very popular person and is buried in Winchester Cathederal. The book was originally written in the 1600s, very interesting. The one I bought had lovely old drawings of Beresford Hall etc. Beresford Hall was demolished quite a while ago and there are not many good pictures of it. I am very pleased to have found a good used copy of The Complete Angler of this edition at Amazon.
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