‘The one that got away’ is the best-known phrase in fishing. Every angler has at least one story of being outwitted by a huge fish. A refrain of the angler, a taunt from those who live with them: it neatly sums up the way in which anglers are obsessed with the fish they almost caught. Yet to hear a fisherman tell the story of an escapee leviathan is to gain a great insight into why he fishes in the first place and why his sport is the most popular in the world.
This is a collection of original stories from well-known angling enthusiasts and writers. They tell of unforgettable fish hooked and lost, of glimpsed monsters which haunt the imagination and draw the narrator back to a particular river or lake, time and again, in search of a re-match.
David Steel loses his first-ever salmon after an epic struggle on the Ettrick; George Melly is upstaged by a giant Usk brown trout; Jeremy Paxman describes a fishing trip Sri Lankan style; Max Hastings is punished for being blasé and Bernard Venables – extending the definition of ‘fish’ – relates a thrilling but tragic whaling adventure in the Azores. Chris Yates, former holder of the British carp record, tells of his close encounter with an even bigger carp; David Profumo is humiliated by a 400lb shark; Brian Clarke has his angling life marked by a monster pike and Conrad Voss Bark actually helped his fish get away. Laurence Catlow learns to come to terms with loss.
Illustrator: Chris Wormell
ISBN: 978 1 910723 02 9
Published: October 1991
Latest edition: September 2015
No. of pages: 160