A Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year
Peer into the secret, silent world of the freshwater fish and explore evolution of the art and industry of fishing in Britain's rivers and streams.
From cunning Neolithic traps, intricate Roman nets and quarrellous Victorian societies to the evolution of angling and eventual gentrification of river access, this history spans thousands of years and ends with a poignant call to protect the underwater world from the horrors of industrial fishing and farming.
Meanwhile, another thread of the narrative weaves in the lives of the fishes themselves: the incredible struggles of the Atlantic salmon and secretive eel; the pike, a lean and camouflaged predator; the carp, huge and stately, begetter of obsessions; the exquisite spotted brown trout and its silver cousin, the grayling.
Lives built on and around fishing have largely faded from Britain, but fishermen and conservationists are working tirelessly to prevent the same fate befalling the fishes.