I am currently re-reading “Confessions of a Carp Fisher” and, once again, I am astonished by its poetry of light and shade and its evocation of an unspoilt English landscape.
It occurs to me, as it must have occurred to many, that BB’s prose-hymn to carp angling is less about fishing and more about a dialogue with the unknown, and the unquantifiable.
BB, of course, never caught the monsters he saw, and part of me believes he never wished to. The shiver down his spine, “the serpent’s tongue”, as he put it, was more
He was, I think, like a druid in a sacred grove, never doubting that the gods or spirits were near and attentive.
The spirits that troubled BB’s landscapes made ripples in the margins and, at night, would rock his tree-girt ponds with sudden leapings.
BB might have lacked Walker’s ability to put them on the bank, but he was still the high priest of carp fishing, - able to frame his elusive quarry with mysteries, - able to explain the true significance of every approaching shadow.