“It was June 16, opening day of the traditional coarse fishing season, a moment in the calendar that, incredibly, I have somehow managed to preserve and savour ever since I first went fishing, on a bicycle, over half a century ago. I’m fortunate to have access to a number of lakes and ponds where the close season continues to be observed but, ever since the Environment Agency bowed to pressure from the commercial fisheries lobby, the majority of stillwaters and canals (but not rivers) are now open for angling throughout the year. This is not only bad fishery management; it has left a younger generation with no awareness of the Christmas Day magic that was the Glorious Sixteenth. For me and many like-minded angling retros, the magic still exists because by taking a three-month break our spirits are wild for the water again as the new season comes around.”
Words of wisdom from our patron saint, Chris Yates, reposted from 2011. Now, and with the coarse fishing season newly open, watch as Chris returns to Waller’s Haven on the Sussex Levels after 60 years to fish the same stretch he visited as a boy. In this film by Nick Fallowfield-Cooper for Fallon’s Angler, Chris uses the very same rod – recently restored – as he tries to outdo his 11 year old self by catching a bream. As he fishes, so he reminisces and reflects upon the journey that has led him here…
Watch the film (with music by Chris’s son William Yates) below:
You can peruse our archive of Chris Yates-related delights here.