When we first decided to create the angling legends section of the magazine, we were always acutely aware that we might give somebody this accolade, only to find out that others didn’t agree.
It is very possible that at some point we could choose someone or something to call an angling legend in error, while ignoring somebody more deserved.
When it came to the name Chris Yates however, we knew this would be a choice that nobody could argue with.
Chris spent his former years fishing as part of the syndicate group on Redmire Pool. Often fishing alongside fellow legend Rod Hutchinson, he was one of the crop of young anglers who had faith in using particle baits.
Sweetcorn was his bait of choice and while keeping his rigs and tactics simple, Chris developed a knack of catching not only a good quantity of fish but some quality ones too.
Often, while his fellow anglers remained fixed behind their rods, Chris would stalk the lake or fish the shallows, happy to catch any carp no matter what the size.
At the start of the 1980/81 season, Chris arrived at Redmire Pool full of confidence. Little was he to know, that by the end of the opening day, his world would have change forever.
His 51lb 8oz record carp stunned the angling world. Not only did it smash the great Dick Walker’s 28 year old record but it was a 50lb fish, something many British carp anglers, thought we’d never see.
This fish alone could quite easily catapult Mr Yates onto our Angling Legends list. The first ever UK ’50′ is something that will never happen again. However, if we adopted this philosophy, we would have to include everybody that had caught a record fish, and not all of those can be truly classed as legends.
Chris Yates is not only a great angler, he is also unquestionably, the greatest angling author of his generation, perhaps even of all time. His writing isn’t about instruction, methods or techniques, he quite simply is, a wonderful story teller.
When you read his books, you are transported with him. He doesn’t complicate his writing with technical waffle and confusing set ups. It is instead, beautiful writing which allows readers to share his angling adventures. Whether carp, barbel, chub or even sea bass, Chris’ stories aren’t just about the catch, they are about all things leading up to it and beyond.
Watching the fantastic ‘Passion For Angling’ series was like being inside a Chris Yates book. His enthusiasm and eccentricity made the series what it was and the book he wrote to accompany the series, was yet another Yates masterpiece.
Yes Chris Yates can catch fish. Yes he once broke the British carp record but as a writer and story teller, he is second to none.
For every angler who has sat in on a winter’s evening and picked up one of Chris’ books and let their mind wander with him into his fish filled world, this is for you.
For all of you that have watched every episode of “Passion for Angling” time and time again, this is for you.
For those of you who never tire of hearing the story of the brown teapot, this is for you. We are delighted to give Chris Yates the well deserved title of true Angling Legend.