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Life of a Chalkstream
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Price:£5.24

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2014
This is exactly the book I have desperately been waiting for for so many years.

Where is that gifted person, and is there actually one out there, able to combine his love for all those creatures of a pristine chalk stream with an outstanding knowledge of nature's secrets and an exceptional understanding of the interactions in that fascinating life of a brown trout river? Would he - as a flyfisherman - be able to widen the flyfishermen's horizon and answer all those questions they ever had or even weren't aware of having them? And would this person be able to tell all this in a captivating and true language?

I can't stop reading, being so emotionally touched by the amount of knowledge, wisdom, understanding, truthfulness and love. By describing his personal experience with the restoration of a neglected chalk stream the author enthralls and fascinates me and makes me look at a trout river in an absolutely new way. In a way of understanding, seeing, caring.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, Simon !
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2014
This is a very personal, well written book about all elements of the chalkstream: water quality, biodiversity, fish and fauna, mayflies and man. Pastoral and modern, it will interest naturalists, anglers and daydreamers. Mr Cooper brings a comfortable tone and clear voice to the reader. Belongs on the bookshelf next to Neil Patterson's Chalkstream Chronicle; it's a terrific first book, and I hope we see more from Mr. Cooper.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
I have been privileged to fish most of the chalk streams of Southern England over the past 15 years, and my fascination with these pristine, vibrant ecological gems is total. Simon Cooper's love of these rivers comes across strongly in this book, and his gentle narrative of a year in the life of one of them as a privileged custodian is a fascinating insight for those of us doomed to be no more than occasional visitors to these tranquil Worlds.

If you fish for trout and grayling, or if you love the English countryside, then you'll also love this book which, for me, ended too soon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2014
I must admit, at the start, that I am no fisherman and probably never will be (sorry, Simon!). I think the only fish I have ever caught was a miller's thumb (which, thanks to Simon, I now know is properly called a bullhead) in my parents' garden stream in Somerset (not exactly Chalkstream territory!) when I was about 7. I used the somewhat unorthodox method of placing a jam jar in front of the fish, which I then tapped on the tail with a tea spoon. Well, it worked! Such amateur tactics would be eschewed by an expert such as Simon. This expertise is communicated effortlessly (or so it seems) and the book is a joy to read. It seems invidious to pick out any particular aspects of Life of a Chalkstream when the book, as a whole, is so enjoyably instructive but the passages on Life in the Stickleback Family and the Lifespan of an Eel were utterly fascinating. I can't wait for Simon's next book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2014
Simon Cooper's 'Life of a Chalkstream' is an enchanting book which should not be mistaken for just a fishing manual, just a river keeper's diary or another set of nature notes. It's all this and a lot more. Anyone who raises a fly rod on a or plans to do so will enjoy the minute observations, Simon's encyclopaedic technical knowledge and the history, geography and ecology of this complex ecosystem and its inhabitants. Simon's is perspective is modestly and charmingly delivered, covering a vast set of subjects in concise and lively prose. The fascinating story of bringing a river back to its best, interwoven with reflections and unassuming fishing, botany and zoology tutorials makes for a delightful and informative work of which Izaak Walton would have been proud and which is guaranteed to help pass those winter evenings whilst waiting for the season to open. A wonderful gift for those inviting you for a day's fishing and a reminder, for those of us who need it, of what it means to spend a life well. Thank you, Simon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2015
I loved this book - I know nothing of fishing but certainly learned a lot more about both the intricacies of this pastime and also life in and around a chalk-stream. Such a pleasant and enlightening read written with great care and attention to detail. I could form pictures in my mind very easily from the wonderful descriptions.
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on 12 May 2015
Written on the basis of a deep love of the countryside and of the life of a river, this is a delightful read for anyone who loves the countryside. Insights into fly fishing and the life of all the creatures of the river are on every page. It is very unlikely that you will know everything that is mentioned, however well you know your natural history unless, perhaps, you are a ghillie or fish gamekeeper.

My biggest surprise was in finding just how much human work it takes to keep a river looking as though it is 'untouched by man'.

In a couple of places it could have used a bit more effort or understanding from the editor but, those minor issues aside it is a 'must read'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2014
could not wait to finish so I could read again and absorb completely great read from start to finish thank you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2014
An interesting narrative on chalk streams from a person who should know i.e. a river keeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2014
An interesting account of one year of a Chalksream
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