Although first published back in the dim and distant past, my little book, 101 Golden Rules of Fishing, collects new admirers from time to time and occasionally, one of them will take the trouble to drop me a line. It's always a surprise and always welcome. Here's what Paul Taylor had to say...
"I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your 101 Golden Rules book which I have just finished reading. If all roads lead to Rome it's always interesting to me how many fishing book references sometimes lead back to London and the south-west eg Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire or what I call God's Country - for fishing.
Reading fishing books such as yours over the past few years has, basically, meant a lot to me. I haven't been fishing for years, I can't afford to have a car in London at present, the last car I had over ten years ago was parked six days a week until on the seventh day I went forth down the A3, fishing in lakes near Guildford but it was too much of a luxury to have a car only used for fishing, when I did use the car to go out with friends they spent most of the journey, rather annoyingly, complaining that it stank of fish bait. (PS I'm not married so got away with that).
As you may agree, I find that the next best thing to not being able to go fishing is either reading about it or watching it on the tv. My fishing life returned to me during the 1990s after an absence of many years, not having fished since a teenager on the River Rother in East Sussex, when I was at a friend's house who owned a rather gigantic Sony Trinitron tv set, I walked into the front room on a Sunday evening and stood there transfixed by this image on the screen of trees, leaves and a glimpse of dappled water, all in shadow and light, from an episode of A Passion For Angling. I've never been quite the same since, fishing wise. So I took up fishing again, I even caught a carp once.
I have also ordered the Wilfred Brown book 'My River' as recommended by you, it looks like a good read. I'm always on the lookout for my next fishing book so that's taken care of. I prefer the more literature types of fishing books that delve more into the nature/spiritual side of things rather than the technical ones. Over the past couple of years fishing books - eg Maurice Wiggins, The Magic Wheel, BB and, of course, HT Sheringham (whose short story May Day on the Exe personifies for me all that is wonderful about fishing and the English countryside) and your books have been a sort of escapism, transporting me out of the overcrowded, concrete bedlam of London to dreaming of sitting by the edge of a lake, listening to a wood pigeon, staring at a float, eating a sandwich and then nodding off. Mindfulness? Fishermen have known about it for a long time I think."
Rob Beattie is the author of several popular fishing books. He's also a regular contributor to Waterlog magazine.