The Lost Diary by Chris Yates. Mint new copy and signed by the author. £12.99
The latest book from Britain's most collectable angling author has just arrived. Best of all, all of our stock has been signed by Chris himself! Click here for further information or to order your copy of The Lost Diary by Chris Yates.
Or, if you prefer, have a read of an excerpt from the book courtesy of the publisher, Unbound.
"Monday the 13th of July
Took the punt out after my meal, and cruised gently into the weeds where lay, basking, the carp. The fish didn't seem to mind me, and I was able to drift right next to a Mirror of maybe 30 pounds, and a very big Common. Suddenly the potential in my position was realised, and I gently made for shore. Once there I hurriedly got a rod, net, and a tin of maggots, and after baiting up, drifted back into the weed beds. The sun was hot on my back, and my heart began to pound as I dapped that same big Mirror Carp with a bunch of maggots. But the punt drifted just too close, and the fish became wary and cruised off. They didn't go far, though - they came to rest next to the large Common carp just to my left.
I paddled as quietly as I could and then dropped the bait onto the Mirror's nose from about 15-foot. It just hung there in the weeds, and the bait was clearly visible, right next to its face. The boat began to drift away in a gentle breeze, and I had to use the paddle with one hand and hold the rod with the other. The fish seemed to understand what was going on, and once more it swam quietly away, though the Common remained, and I dapped for him, but with no result.
Eventually the breeze came up again and I couldn't hold my position. The carp sank from sight as I put the paddle in the water. I went on up the lake, and found a couple of fish who bolted as I approached, making huge swirls and opening up holes in the weeds. From above, it looked like a typhoon in a forest, as the long fronds of hornwort swayed around and around in the turbulence. I found a big dark looking fish, and dropped the maggots next to him. Straightaway, he began to back, and then turn towards the deep. But then that devilish breeze sprang up, and began to push me straight at the fish, just as it was rising once more. He sank, but then seemed to decide that he wanted the maggots anyway, and turned back for them. Too late: the punt was suddenly over him, and I couldn't keep the bait in the same place. That was my last chance. The breeze remained steady, and it was hopeless trying any further. I paddled for the willow pitch, floating over the crystal clear depths, with the long weed-cables reaching up to the surface.
Later, it being a warm evening, it seemed a good idea to have a glass of ale at Langrove.
"How's Jack?" I asked the landlord, as he poured me a glass of the excellent bitter, much improved since last time.
"He's there, behind you."
So it turned out to be two or three glasses of ale, as old Jack rambled on about his various adventures - some happy, some sad. He'd been getting a few good trout from the garron.
"Always carry a bit of tackle in my pocket," he said. "But never use a rod. You're buggered if you use a rod! The keeper will see you. He's got a good dog who sits with him while he fishes, and cocks his ear for the slightest sound." ("I'm not fishing, I'm just taking my dog for a walk," he would say, if the keeper came along.)
"Remember old Bunting, Dave?" he said, turning to Dave, who was sitting at the table next to us.
"He used to go and move the dead carp that rolled up after spawning at Red Mire. He was in the punt one day, and a fish came up with its head one side of the punt and its tail on the other. That must have been a a big 'un," he said.
And then he turned to me, with his one grey eye, and his one green eye, and he said, "You going to write a book someday?"
The Lost Diary by Chris Yates
Mint new hardback. Signed by the author. £12.99