Frankly sentimental, salt-spray reminiscences of hunting and fishing days of a boyhood vigorously experienced along the marshes and inlets of England's Essex and Devon. The game is small; the various sportive fish often manage a maddening escape; and Hugh and his sputtering father spend a goodish time wallowing in shallows and mud. But confrontations between man and prey are an exhilarating channel for youthful exuberance; strong affections for the swirl of water, the list of an old boat, the moment of triumph or failure. Mr. Falkus remembers his companions with pleasure--his adored father, possessed by the driving, nagging genius of the dedicated fisherman; Puggy, one-eyed old river rat, whose ancient boat was persuaded to float by a group of devoted friends in order to escape taxes; several lonely children; a serene and happy amateur mariner. There are special insights for fishermen--salmon jerked in by the lip; struggles with an eel; bait for bass. Cheerful, humorous, untidily nostalgic, this is pleasant bait for the ruminative fisherman.