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Introduction to the Compleat Angler   By: (1844-1912)

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In "Introduction to the Compleat Angler," Andrew Lang takes us on a captivating journey into the world of fishing. This timeless classic allows readers to delve into the depths of angling, exploring its rich history, techniques, and the sheer joy it brings to its practitioners.

Right from the start, Lang impressively immerses us in the art of fishing, addressing both novice anglers and experienced ones alike. He deftly outlines the foundational skills required, ensuring that readers have a solid understanding of the fundamentals. From choosing the right fishing gear and familiarizing oneself with different fish species to mastering various casting techniques, Lang offers a comprehensive and practical guide from cover to cover.

What truly sets this book apart is Lang's ability to weave engaging narratives throughout his lessons. He intertwines anecdotes and stories from angling greats, providing readers with a unique perspective on the sport. These charming snippets not only entertain but also impart wisdom and knowledge, enhancing the reader's experience.

Another highlight of Lang's work lies in his meticulous exploration of the natural world surrounding fishing. He emphasizes the importance of understanding different types of water bodies, their ecosystems, and the behavior of fish dwelling within them. This detailed analysis augments one's desire to venture out into the wild and put newfound knowledge to the test.

Lang's writing style is both accessible and eloquent, making complex concepts easy to comprehend. He seamlessly combines technical instructions with lyrical descriptions of nature and fishing. The text flows effortlessly, inviting readers to lose themselves between its pages as they dream of peaceful afternoons spent by the water's edge.

While the book primarily caters to those interested in pursuing angling, it also offers a broader appeal beyond the fishing community. Lang's love for the sport and nature itself shines through, providing a delightful read for anyone seeking solace in the beauty of the outdoors.

It is worth mentioning that this introduction serves as a solid foundation for those diving into angling for the first time. However, avid fishermen may find some of the content already familiar. Nevertheless, Lang's captivating storytelling and deep respect for his subject matter make this book an enjoyable read regardless of one's level of angling expertise.

In conclusion, "Introduction to the Compleat Angler" is a meticulously crafted guide that encapsulates the art, science, and beauty of fishing. Andrew Lang successfully combines technical knowledge with the enchantment of engaging storytelling, creating a book that stands the test of time. Whether you want to embark on a fishing adventure or simply appreciate the wonders of nature, this book will undoubtedly captivate and enlighten.

First Page:


Transcribed from the 1896 J. M. Dent edition by David Price, email


To write on Walton is, indeed, to hold a candle to the sun. The editor has been content to give a summary of the chief or rather the only known, events in Walton's long life, adding a notice of his character as displayed in his Biographies and in The Compleat Angler , with comments on the ancient and modern practice of fishing, illustrated by passages from Walton's foregoers and contemporaries. Like all editors of Walton, he owes much to his predecessors, Sir John Hawkins, Oldys, Major, and, above all, to the learned Sir Harris Nicolas.


The few events in the long life of Izaak Walton have been carefully investigated by Sir Harris Nicolas. All that can be extricated from documents by the alchemy of research has been selected, and I am unaware of any important acquisitions since Sir Harris Nicolas's second edition of 1860. Izaak was of an old family of Staffordshire yeomen, probably descendants of George Walton of Yoxhall, who died in 1571. Izaak's father was Jarvis Walton, who died in February 1595 6; of Izaak's mother nothing is known. Izaak himself was born at Stafford, on August 9, 1593, and was baptized on September 21... Continue reading book >>

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