Izaak Walton’s “The Compleat Angler”
When the men who founded the Izaak Walton League met for the first time in 1922, they could have called their new organization almost anything.
That dapper looking dude with the fishing pole who didn't get the hat memo is Will Dilg, one of our founders, along with some of his fishing buddies. They were Midwestern sportsmen, journalists, salesmen, and even one preacher.
For many of them, the lands and waters they knew and loved best were along the upper Mississippi River in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa. Yet they did not choose a regional name or pick a name focused on a specific fish or water resource.
Instead, they named their new organization for Izaak Walton, 17th Century author of The Compleat Angler – one of the most original and influential books about fishing, the environment, and conservation.
What sets The Compleat Angler apart from previous fishing books is Walton’s insistence that there’s so much more to being an angler than technical knowledge of bait and tackle.
For Walton, fishing is at once an environmental, social, and spiritual experience.
On April 1, Oxford University Press will release a new edition of The Compleat Angler – the first scholarly edition published in more than 25 years! It includes an introduction that highlights our organization, and extensive notes that help put the book in today’s context.
There's a little copy of a reprint in the Trophy Room. If you want your own copy of the new edition, watch for it in a local book store!
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