Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Jim McDonald

Ripping the Veil

Pages: 164 Ratings: 4.9
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Anglers are not always perceived to be the most rational of people. For those who get involved in rod fishing, what might start as a curiosity, gradually becomes a passion that often develops into a full-blown, all-consuming addiction. Apparently, there is no cure. Repeated scenarios of utter failure, near-drowning, broken relationships and disarming exhaustion only whet the appetite for renewed effort. No wonder the non-angling majority considers the whole venture as incomprehensible and one of insanity.

However, the angling body is no small minority. It will happily embrace the label of ‘insane’ if that is what it takes to sustain what, for those who are smitten, is no less than a lifestyle. These are the people who are driven to explore what lies beneath the water’s surface. They thrive on the thrill of revealing the secrets of a hidden world. For them, ripping the veil between air and water is not a casual option but a glorious and compulsive expression of evolutionary history – a relic strategy of survival. At least, this is their excuse.

Jim McDonald worked for forty years as a professional biologist and ecologist. During that time (and longer) he has been an ardent rod fisher of Atlantic salmon, trout and sea trout. He combines his interests in environmental issues and fishing with those of writing. He now urges an honesty and realism in how we approach matters of conservation, as opposed to following any assumed norms of popular and political correctness.

Customer Reviews
7 reviews
7 reviews
  • Sam

    I really enjoyed the heart felt joy of angling, mixed with memories of family and friends. Made me realise my 10 fish as a young child had more impact on my angling career than the next few 1000 fish! We all have our secret lochs / loughs (as they should be called), but worry about a return years later to find the fish few and smaller. Jim describes these thoughts and hopes for future. The massive drop in salmon numbers in our rivers is a reflection of our natural world in general, with salmon being a warning to us all the delicate balance of wild species. Let’s hope it’s not too late, and that they can hang no and even make a comeback. It’s easy reading, but maybe only fully appreciated by those who are life long anglers, as those folk can see their own memories in many of the stories.

  • Susan Hamilton

    Jim has a wonderfully descriptive way of writing which truly conveys his passion for fishing. This book will delight other fishermen and also those of us who know little about fishing but love Scotland — its rivers, lochs, beautiful countryside and memorable characters.

  • Rick

    Jim McDonald’s book Ripping The Veil provides an uplifting, entertaining and provocative insight into the views and experience of a self-confessed fishing addict - “My fishing … is a compulsion of uncompromising urgency to hunt and to succeed”. His book is brimful of anecdote, both amusing and chastening. A biologist and ecologist by profession, Jim shares his informed views on the decline of salmon numbers in our Scottish rivers and ongoing efforts to address the situation. But his book is no pallid scientific treatise and his descriptions of the beauties of the natural world are lyrical. Everyone who has fished for trout, sea trout and salmon will find echoes of their own experience throughout this book and will find it both informative and thought-provoking.

  • Yvonne Yule

    As someone who could never understand the sense of anyone willing to stand thigh high in freezing cold water for hours on end, I have had to change my views. I was completely captivated by Jim’s story of his love of & passion for fishing. Jim McDonald paints as creatively & effectively in words as he does with any artistic medium. I could picture each scene, whether on a gentle calm sunny day or on one of the dramatic incidences he describes so eloquently. The camaraderie of the fishing community is heartwarming, especially in the current climate & I was thrilled to hear that reiterated by a friend whose grandson has just been “hooked” by the sport & has been supported & encouraged by such friendships as found in “Ripping the Veil.” I highly recommend this book, whether you are a fishing fanatic or a fishing sceptic.

  • Derek Strachan

    A fine read for the salmon and trout fisher. Jim McDonald justifies the passion we have for the sport, even to non-believers. There are some lovely anecdotes and laughs along the way.

  • Marcia Shearer

    This is a lovely book that took me on an unexpected, emotional journey back to my childhood. The descriptions of the equipment and the surroundings evoked memories of the many hours I spent with my father while he pursued his love of fishing. An informative and humorous read for the fisherman and a tempting one for those of us yet to indulge.

  • Maggie Blakeman

    Jim's passion and joy for his beloved fishing since he was a young boy, and the deep friendships and encounters he has made through it, shine out to us in this beautifully written book. As an ecologist and artist, Jim awakens the emotions of the reader with his magical descriptions of landscape and water, the changing patterns of sunlight on pools, the birds and animals, and the beauty of the fish he has caught. So vivid that one feels that one is right there beside him!
    Informative but not too technical, and reflective on the issues of catch and release policy, this is a rewarding read for fishermen and for any who may be interested in taking up the sport. Get hooked!

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