Novelist McGuane (Nothing but Blue Skies, etc.) celebrates everything about angling in this collection of 33 essays, which is certain to entertain fellow enthusiasts and fans of his writing. Any notion that fishing is humdrum is dispelled when McGuane describes eloquently his lifelong love affair with the sport, from the joys of tying flies and testing different rods, to sharing ghost stories and observational gems with fellow anglers, to absorbing quietly life's mysteries. He puts into historical and literary context the classic fishing writings of Izaak Walton and Roderick Haig-Brown. Throughout, McGuane's awe at nature's splendor shines in his prose. Releasing a trout after catching it becomes a moment of reverence: ""Suddenly the fish was there, its spotted back breaking the surface, then up showering streamers of silver from the mesh of the net.... I stood in the river for a long while, holding him into the current and feeling the increasing strength in a kicking tail I could barely encompass with my grip. To the north, the Aurora Austral raised a curtain of fire in the cold sky. My trout kicked free and continued his journey to the Andes."" Such moments emphasize McGuane's call for preserving the world's rivers from overdevelopment. Whether he's fishing for trout in a beaver pond in Michigan, salmon in Iceland or tarpon in Key West, McGuane casts not only his fishing line, but also his magic at turning a precise phrase and evoking a delightful image. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1999 Release date: 10/01/1999 Genre: Nonfiction
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