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How to Fish by Chris Yates

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Steve Williams

Senior Member
Reviewed by Ken Franklin

Yates, Christopher (2006), How to Fish, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, 256 pages.

Chris Yates latest release hit the shelves in September 2006. I put it on my Amazon wish list and I received a copy for Christmas. I've been slowly reading through the chapters, which Chris describes as 'casts', there are 23 of them.

I thought it was worth writing a review, I know that some BFW users are on the lookout for books and I thought that perhaps a review of this one might help. The first thing to say is that this is not a Barbel fishing book, nor is it a book containing explicit and descriptive fishing instruction. Therefore, it isn't worth buying if you want a book with the specific aim of increasing your technical fishing ability. The style of fishing Chris uses, with tackle from time past, certainly is still effective. However it won't get you that 'extra fish' when you need one more, because that, I think if I've heard him correctly, is not at all what Chris Yates is about.

Altogether the book is very enjoyable, Chris is obviously well educated and has the time to express, through many wonderful metaphors, why fishing is an obsessive passion for him (and many of us). This makes it a rewarding read, although there is the chance one or two of the metaphors may leave you forgetting the reason for the illustration. The book appears as if it meanders along just like the river Chris is fishing as he is writing, although I would suspect that it is far less random than that.

There are several reasons to buy the book. As fishing books go, buy it if you have enough technical books and you want something that might contain an inspirational anecdote or two. Alternatively, you could buy it to explain to a spouse/to your family why you fish, after all it is one of the purported aims of the book. I might try passing it on with that in mind, but I'd be more inclined to think my girlfriend wouldn't read it all, it surely engages with a fishing audience more than a non-fishing audience, even if they are positively inclined towards your angling pastime. You could buy it and add it to your collection, either putting it on your bookshelf or adding it to the nice pile of books some people have in their bathroom. Buy it because you have Chris� other books and you want a set.

My final thought is that the book should be an encouragement to those of us who document our fishing adventures, exciting or mundane. Chris, as mentioned earlier, writes well, but I suspect that there are many anglers out there who are equally capable of reflective writing on the fishing obsession. I'd say keep writing and if you have something worth say, you should consider one day to put it out there. Some names, like Chris, will find it easier to publish, but anything is possible.

Ken (kenjiblaster25) Franklin
Jan 2007
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