Whether the reader is an angler, naturalist, country lover or simply receptive to Williamson’s limpid prose, A Clear Water Stream embraces all these passions.
The Williamson family moved to Shallowford on the River Bray in North Devon, England, in 1929. With his typical zest, the author set about revitalising the river, stocking it with both salmon and trout, and building low weirs, thus creating new pools and improving the flow of water.
Mistakes were made, with sleepless nights spent worrying over poachers, predators, and upsetting the natural balance. Williamson’s error was to apply a chalk-stream ethic to the Bray, and upland, acidic water. His introduction of water-crowfoot, a relatively uncommon plant in West Country upland streams at that time, was the cause of much consternation among local fishermen.
There are stories of entertaining sojourns spent fishing in the Hebrides, Florida and Canada, and joyous moments with his children, but throughout, the thread – which is the stream – enchants the reader to the finale.
Henry Williamson’s impassioned observations were later to become the genesis for his classic work, Salar the Salmon.
A Clear Water Stream is a delightful tale, interspersed with the author’s deepest emotions. Henry Williamson’s message, nearly eighty years later, stands as a prophetic work of genius. The River Bray today runs clear and vibrant. Salmon and sea trout still ascent to the foot of Exmoor, and the diminutive but beautiful wild trout continue to dimple the river’s surface
hardback first edition but no dust jacket – some discolouration of cloth cover otherwise in good condition