Reading the Water: Fly Fishing, Fatherhood, and Finding Strength in Nature

Mark Hume. Greystone, $27.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-77164-569-0

Journalist Hume (Trout School) recalls how he fell in love with nature as a child and how he passed that love to his daughters in this charming memoir. Born in British Columbia to a busy editor father and a mother distracted by “children running everywhere, a garden to tend, chickens to feed, and a goat to milk,” Hume recalls venturing into the wilderness with his brothers and being entranced by a creek. He eventually taught himself fly-fishing, a sport he describes throughout in illuminating detail. He also traces his marriage to his wife Maggie, a fellow journalist he met in a newsroom. The couple had two daughters, who he successfully passed a love of fishing onto; the girls became skilled fly-fishers, as well as devotees of nature, one working in environmental policy and the other as a lawyer “representing Indigenous communities fighting for environmental reparation.” Throughout, Hume excels at evoking the natural world and movingly describes his horror at the devastation humans are causing: “In my short lifetime I have seen great rivers dammed, entire forests clearcut.... And yet here on the water, reaching down to touch a cold-blooded fish, I have always found hope.” The result is an invigorating look at the power of the outdoors. (May)
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