The Ilkley Connection: Forty Years of Angling Friendships (Hardcover)
In the 1970s a group of impoverished, fishing-mad students with roots in the West Yorkshire town of Ilkley dreamt of exploring waters beyond their home patch. Travelling in tired, rusty cars or hired vans and sleeping in flimsy, leaking tents, they set out to catch the legendary pike of Loch Lomond and the much-maligned zander, an alien predator that was rampant in the fenlands of Eastern England.
The friendships and the fishing trips have endured for more than 40 years, although the rusty cars and leaking tents are long gone, the latter replaced by classy self-catering lodges and guest houses. In addition, the range of venues has expanded to include rivers such as the Trent, the Warwickshire Avon, the Upper Great Ouse, the Severn and the Kennet, while sea fishing trips in pursuit of giant skate and sharks have also become highlights. Fishing is the glue that binds the group together, but alcohol-fuelled evenings in pubs and restaurants have added to the enjoyment. This is the story of the events, the humour and the camaraderie, as told by those involved.