The Last Food of England
Morning catch: eels spend most of their lives in fresh water. They return to their birthplace at sea when its is time to breed, and to die. They tend to move down river, muscular and silver bellied, after heavy rain and in the dark quarter. The runs are intercepted by nets attached to either bank, or metal stages alongside weirs. An eel fisherman can be up all night in the worst of weathers, and for little reward. The fatter, larger specimen go for smoking. The leaner ones or 'bootlaces' are jellied - a taste that is seldom acquired or lost.

South of England November 2006