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Science
THE PHILOSOPHER, FISH AND THE DOVE
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Celebrating the Anniversary of The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton
Sundays 27 July to 24 August 2.45-3.00pm

On the 350th Anniversary of the publication of The Compleat Angler, passionate fly fisherman, Geoffrey Palmer, presents a 5-part series celebrating the life and work of Izaak Walton, the River Dove and the art of Angling.

Tony Bridgett and a wild brown trout caught in the River Dove
Angler and Izaak Walton historian, Tony Bridgett with a wild brown trout caught whilst fly fishing. After removing the hook from the fish, the trout was returned back to the River Dove

Programme 1: Trout
Sunday 27 July, 2.45-3.00pm

The series opens on the banks of the River Dove, not far from the Izaak Walton Hotel in Dovedale, at a place called Lovers Leap, where trout angler and Izaak Walton historian, Tony Bridgett, casts his line into the depths of this famous chalk river in the hope of catching a wild trout. As he wades through the cold, clear water, he reflects on the life and work of Izaak Walton the father of all fishermen. We also hear from angler and writer, John Bailey, who comments on the Art of Angling. This is a theme which runs throughout The Compleat Angler, and is expressed in the skill with which anglers catch their fish from reading the river, to the art of the cast, or the design of the fly in fly fishing. For many anglers, fishing is also about “getting close to nature”, and enjoying the river habitat the birds, insects and flowers, as well the fish.

The programme also visits the Izaak Walton Cottage in Shallowford (details below), which was owned and rented out, by Izaak Walton, and now houses an angling museum staffed by manager, Gillian Bould, and local historian and visitor guide, Bruce Braithwaite. Bruce describes something of the life of Izaak Walton, and his famous work, The Compleat Angler. Extracts from the book are heard throughout the programme.

Izaak Walton Cottage
The cottage is a typical mid-Staffordshire example probably built in the 16th century. It is timber-framed with wattle and daub infill, later modified in brick. The cottage garden is a blaze of colour throughout the year, displaying a collection of roses, shrubs, and herbaceous beds. Inside, a museum of angling contains a variety of fishing-related items and the reading room contains a small angling library. Throughout the year the cottage hosts a diverse range of events for historical re-enactments to fly-tying and casting events.

Further details:
Izaak Walton’s Cottage, Shallowford, near Stone, Stafford, ST15 OPA
Tel. 01785 760278 (Apr-Oct) 01785 240204 (Nov-March)

Further Reading:
The Compleat Angler, Oxford University Press
Reissued as an Oxford World’s Classic Paperback 2000
ISBN 0-19-283786-9
Tales from the River Bank by John Bailey published by BBC Books, 1997
ISBN 0 563 38798 X
Trout at Ten Thousand Feet - Reflections of a passionate fisherman by John Bailey, published by New Holland
ISBN 1859748899

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