cover image The Quotable Fisherman

The Quotable Fisherman

. Lyons Press, $20 (236pp) ISBN 978-1-55821-717-1

With 90 one- to four-page long essays ranging from ""Gonzo Fishing"" to ""When You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Take Him Fishing,"" Quinnett (Pavlov's Trout and Darwin's Bass) clearly views angling as a necessary adjunct to life. Fishing is a chancy endeavor, otherwise, he notes, ""[t]hey'd call it catching."" Quinnett, a psychologist specializing in suicide, sees the pursuit of trout et al. as a metaphor for the good and interesting life. It leads to clockless dreamlands away from the chaos of everyday work. And, by his calculations, it makes great economic sense, with a decent rod and reel costing only .043 pennies a day--for a person who lives 28,000 days. ""If you can't see the logic of this,"" he writes, ""you are obviously not a fisherman."" A fisherman himself for half a century, Quinnett recalls the public civility and private anguish of old-timers when newcomers catch a giant bass with nothing but beginner's luck; and discusses the bad or funny things that must happen to fishermen because ""[a] fishing trip without laughter is not much of a fishing trip."" Fishing is about ""being free for a few hours, and spending time with those we love."" Time is not money, he maintains, because money never bought back any of the time spent earning it. Although Quinnett says that fish and philosophy go together, readers will find these breezy episodes much more fun than Aristotelian syllogisms. (Oct.) FYI: Two other books for fishermen are John Bailey's illustrated Ultimate Freshwater Fishing (DK, $29.95 190p ISBN 0-7894-2866-0; Sept.); & Lyons Press's chapbook The Quotable Fisherman, edited by Nick Lyons. ($20 176p ISBN 1-55821-717-7; Oct.)