Chalkstream fly fishing with Fishing Breaks

“Insight into a wonderful corner of the land.”

My book Life of a Chalkstream is now out in paperback.
Available in bookshops, Amazon and Kindle. To order a signed copy click

NEW FOR 2017
Three days on the river for 11-16 year olds

Qing Ya Xi
Take a look at our lovely new beat on the River Itchen.

Season Tickets
2017 Season Tickets
The 4x4, All Wading 4x4 and The Wild Bunch. Details just released.

Read all about it
All that is new for the season ahead. Read it here.

The Mill
Heathman Street
Nether Wallop
Hampshire SO20 8EW
T: 01264 781988
F: 01264 782590


About the book   About Simon Cooper   Reviews   Where to Buy    Signed Copies
   Press enquiries   Contact

Life of a Chalkstream

These are just a few of the great reviews:

“Beautifully written and steeped in a true understanding of its subject.”

“If you fish for trout and grayling, or if you love the English countryside, then you'll also love this book which, for me, ended too soon.”

“Pastoral and modern, it will interest naturalists, anglers and daydreamers.”

“Up there with Tarka the Otter for the marvellous river and nature writing.”

About The Book

Life of a Chalkstream is the story of a river that I discovered and brought back to life. A beautiful English chalkstream neglected for a generation or more. But perfection comes at a price, and the book charts the highs and lows of the year I took to bring it back from the brink. This is not so much a tale about people (they are mostly bit players as the events unfold) but rather the creatures that make their lives in and around the river and how the changes affected them for better or worse.

Come with me as we see the river fill with salmon and eels, returning from years at sea and a journey of thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Watch as those efficient predators the otters, pike and herons show themselves to deadly effect. Follow the adventures and travails of the fly fishers who take their turn on the river. In the air the swallows mark the changing of the seasons. By night the owls hover over the water meadows, a hunting ground that rarely fails to give up a victim. By day the water voles and tiny mammals scurry in the dry grasses and tall banks, making families that live life on the edge.

This is not just the tale of a river but the community that lives by it. How every creature, however big, small, fast or apparently unimportant has a niche and a role in the life of a chalkstream. But all is not as it should be. After decades of neglect much must be done to prevent the river spiralling towards oblivion. Saving it will be no easy task.

About Simon Cooper

My name is Simon Cooper and for nearly as long as I can recall the English chalkstreams have been part of my life. Even as a young child I was let loose to paddle, dam and wield my beach net in the local streams, graduating into my teenage years as an enthusiastic but easily distracted (you can imagine by what …) fisherman.

Moving away for first university and then work was never part of my life plan, so after a few years I hatched a scheme that would take me back to where it all started and provide me with a living. To begin with it was hard; carving out a niche in the closed rural communities through which the beautiful chalkstreams flow was never going to be easy. But in time I established myself as a proficient fly fishing guide and instructor, establishing the trust of the landowners who put their precious rivers into my care.


If you would like to receive news of upcoming events please register for my Newsletter here.

Papperback Life of a Chalkstream


Read the review in the Daily Mail

Read the review in Country Life

Read the review in The Vintage Magazine

Read the review in Spirit of Fly Fishing

Read the reviews on Amazon

Where to Buy

The book is published by William Collins. You may buy your copy in hardcover and paperback through all bookshops or on-line via these stores:

Signed Copies

To buy signed copies of the hardcover or paperback  (or call Diane on 01264 781988, email ). £16.99 or £9.99 plus £2.95 p&p. Call or email for overseas shipping.

Press Enquiries

Katherine Patrick | Publicity Manager | William Collins
Tel: 020 8307 4447

Simon Cooper
Tel: 07973 766639


If you wish to contact me my details are:
The Mill, Heathman Street, Nether Wallop, Hampshire SO20 8EW
01264 781988