Monday, March 10, 2008

Fishing and Literature...

Spring has been good. The fish are eager to eat my fly, but I'll wait for further reports on the fishing until I have the photos to accompany them. Spey casting, the Lower Lost, and the excitement of steelheading with one of the best female guides have filled my dreams and kept butterflies in my stomach.

I've been reading a lot about fishing, though. After I tie a few flies, it's a way to wind down before I go to sleep and I've been trying to catch up on some classics.

Roderick Haig-Brown's A River Never Sleeps occupied my time for the last week or so. I was expecting the worst; not only is Haig-Brown British, but the book is a classic. Added together, it usually means boring, pretentious, and wordy. I was surprised, however.

The author's chapters were by the month of the year, which is most logical, and something I don't think I've ever seen in a fishing memoir. He shares stories from his childhood in England, his adult life in British Columbia, and shares a few hunting stories in between. His love of fish, fishing, and the rivers is evident throughout the work.

Something that I found particularly interesting was his fishing literature review at the end of the book. We all love a good fishing book and all know about The Compleat Angler and Dame Juliana, but it's nice to know that someone like Haig-Brown cared about fishing literature like I do.

Now I venture into one of the most important novels in fly-fishing history. I can't disclose the title because I'm too embarrassed that I have never read it. With time change, I'll be spending more time at the creek and more time on the Lost. No fishing haunts my dreams like Brown Drakes, though. They're coming.

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