The catch


It is in the midst of a swirling river, casting a line, that Mark Wormald meets Ted Hughes. He stands where the poet stood, forty years ago, because fishing was Ted Hughes’ way of breathing – and because Ted’s writing has made Mark understand that it has always been his way of breathing, too. Using Ted Hughes’ collection of poems, ‘River’, and his fishing diaries as a guide, Mark returns again and again to the places where Ted Hughes fished. At times, he uses the fly patterns Ted recommended; at others, he uses his rods. It is an obsession; a fundamental connection to nature; a thrilling wildness; an elemental pursuit. But it is also a release and a consolation, as he fishes after the sudden death of his mother and during the slow fading of his father.

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