Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Compleat Angler - by Izaac Walton

Time to go fishin’!

What other classic could I be introducing but, The Compleat Angler: or, The Contemplative Man's Recreation by Izaac Walton  (US Edition) (UK Edition) (DE Edition)

Let me turn to those ever dependable Amazon reviewers for a description:

"Three hundred fifty years ago Izaak Walton wrote of the curious blend of inner peace and giddy excitement which the amateur naturalist finds at streamside. He invites us to stroll with him through the countryside, discussing the mythology, superstition, and the science of England's aquatic fauna. It is an unrushed journey, though we often arise at sunrise, and the author introduces us to many of the local inhabitants."


"-- an enduring cult classic having no exact parallel in world literature."

And I am especially charmed by a review from Korea . . .

"I'm flyfisher in Korea. I think there is no necessity for talking about this book. Because this is so famous book to fishermans, as you know."

But what does the author say?

And as I have told you that Sir Francis Bacon observes, the age of a Salmon exceeds not ten years; so let me next tell you, that his growth is very sudden: it is said that after he is got into the sea, he becomes, from a Samlet not so big as a Gudgeon, to be a Salmon, in as short a time as a gosling becomes to be a goose. Much of this has been observed, by tying a riband, or some known tape or thread, in the tail of some young Salmons which have been taken in weirs as they have swimmed towards the salt water; and then by taking a part of them again, with the known mark, at the same place, at their return from the sea, which is usually about six months after; and the like experiment hath been tried upon young swallows, who have, after six months' absence, been observed to return to the same chimney, there to make their nests and habitations for the summer following; which has inclined many to think, that every Salmon usually returns to the same river in which it was bred, as young pigeons taken out of the same dovecote have also been observed to do.
Hmm, I did not know salmon grew so fast.  My Koi certainly grow slowly!

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