My book Life of a Chalkstream
is now out in paperback.
These are just a few of the great reviews:
“Beautifully written and steeped in a true
understanding of its subject.”
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.
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.
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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
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:
To buy signed copies of the hardcover or paperback (or call Diane on 01264 781988, email firstname.lastname@example.org ). £16.99 or £9.99 plus £2.95 p&p. Call or email for overseas shipping.
Katherine Patrick | Publicity Manager | William Collins
If you wish to contact me my details are: