Chris Yates is an elongated, somewhat cadaverous individual, with a forehead that seems to slope upwards for ever, a scrubby beard flecked with grey, and a gentle, humorous voice inclined to break into neighs of laughter. In the angling world he is famous as the man who caught the largest ever carp (a record since superseded, but only by force-fed, genetically modified freaks). He is also the best writer about fishing in the land.
For years Yates languished in poverty somewhere in Cranbourne Chase, kept going by income support and exiguous earnings from writing about and taking photographs of fish for specialist publications. Then some bright spark from Hamish Hamilton was alerted to his talent and commissioned him to write a short meditation about coarse fishing called – in typical Yates fashion – How to Fish. It was a delight and, for a fishing book, sold well. Now we have a sequel of sorts, even shorter, even more delightful.