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May The Rivers Never Sleep
Format: HardcoverChange
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Other reviews for "May the Rivers Never Sleep" ably state the high quality of the writing and photographs in this lovely book by two great naturalists and great anglers.

I would like to talk about something else that moved me after I acquired my copy and of a late summer's afternoon sat on a deck overlooking the Skagit River and began to read and to absorb the photographs. I became aware not just of the love Bill and John McMillan have for fine rivers, but of their lust to preserve and protect great streams and all the forms of life in and around them. This craving rises above their observations as scientists or their achievements as anglers and naturalists. No, rather it emanates from what, for want of a better word, I must use an overused word: Soul. Rivers for the McMillans flow through, nourish their beings: Are sources of what they are.

It is not a surprise, therefore, that Bill and John along with their other accomplishments help lead organizations and movements dedicated to preserving streams and their total environments.

I confess that sometimes the back and forth of language--some by father, some by son, some by both--knotted my brows. But I got used to it, and suppressed my old editor's itch to pencil in some clarifying connections, because I realized that I was not taking in a book of prose and photographs but that I was reading a beautifully illustrated prayer about our rivers and, especially, about great fish in them, in particular about steelhead.

We pray when we fear. And the McMillans know that for our rivers we must fear and we must pray.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a really unique book among river books. It brings together observation, science, human history, natural history, gut feelings, and deep-seated conservation interests in a prose that seamlessly weaves these perspectives together. The writing of the father-son duo mixes up the tone throughout, yet always manages to hit the mark - neither too fluffy nor too dry - and strikes a nice readable balance that makes you want to continue to the next month's reading before putting the book down. Photos are high quality, lots of them, very interesting underwater perspectives that we bipeds rarely get to see, and there are enough of them to make just flipping through the book for eye candy very enjoyable. Overall the book addresses the big pictures of rivers in our lives, and the small fascinating details of the organisms therein - the complete package.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I agree with most of what the other reviewers have said about this book but wanted to add a further point. One of the most striking things in the book was the importance of salmonid life history diversity(a result of genetic or epigenetic diversity)- something you often hear about but may struggle to conceptualize. Hatcheries have done a great deal of damage to this diversity, and the example of the Washougal River (among others) in the book makes it clear just how important it is for the "right" strain of steelhead to inhabit the right (natal) river. Fluctuations in the timing of river flow and the energetic status of the fish (allowing them to successfully climb back to their spawning beds) are made obvious because the authors know the rivers they discuss so thoroughly and provide some great pictures to illustrate the point. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've been fortunate to have been able to spend some time with Bill McMillan lately. There is simply no one who knows more about our rivers and fish on the West Coast than Bill. McMillan has been a tireless researcher and advocate for wild fish and their habitat, especially steelhead, for the last forty years. I was glad to know that he and his son John had written May The Rivers Never Sleep.

The format of the book has the chapters arranged in months along a calendar year. The authors share their wealth of information along with personal experiences in a way that conveys what it is like to fish throughout the year in the Pacific Northwest. The photographs in the book are a great compliment to the wealth of knowledge the McMillans share in their writing.

There are tons of flyfishing books out here now, but you won't find another that will teach you more about our fish, their environment, and the current challenges they face than in May the Rivers Never Sleep.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is first and foremost about love; love, respect and caring deeply and reverently for the rivers and wild fish of The Northwest.

For most of his life Bill McMillan has been a "monk" for rivers and wild fish. His son John no longer follows in his father's footsteps but rather strides and swims alongside the "Old Man".

Both the prose and the photography in this very special volume are thoughtful, heartfelt and eloquent. In addition the references to historical data are accurate and indeed educational. This book is not your typical "coffee table" decoration. It is filled with knowledge; knowledge gained from years of hard and loving work dedicated to the betterment of wild fish and their habitat.

For those of you who love rivers and wild fish, PURCHASE THIS BOOK. Purchase copies for your friends. Spread the message!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book beautifully documents a family's generations of living on and for rivers. It is a personal father and son narrative that speaks to the broader themes of life, the seasons of a river, and the sense of wonder and loss that comes when the two run together. The photographs in the book are nothing short of amazing - and each tells its own story. You seldom see photos of people posing with fish as is so common in much of the fishing literature. What is there are photos of rivers and their denizens that speak to lifetimes of patient observation and interpretation. You see things in their element and on their own terms. May the Rivers Never Sleep addresses the more important experiences that rivers bring to us, whether you are an angler or have never wet a line. I am planning on buying several more copies as gifts for both anglers and non-anglers alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If you have any care or passion at all for the great outdoors and the wonderful rivers and fish that call them home, this is a book worth reading. John and Bill McMillan have devoted their lives and openly share their years of hard work and insightful knowledge so that all can know the wondrous beauty and fragility of our rivers and fish. They set the example of stewardship needed to insure our river's future so they can be cherished by future generations to come. From snorkeling the frigged winter waters of the OP to the stunning photo documentation of the rivers and their inhabitants, this books gives it all. Thanks John and Bill for this wonderful gift to us all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It is amazing what you learn during a lifetime spent on rivers. This isn't just a collection of observations from summer weekends, but a kind of guided journey into the life of rivers that most of us have never fully experienced...with some history that many of us are too young, or new to the area to have learned. Some of the pictures bring me back to my post college years doing stream surveys along the Pacific Northwest coast, and others remind me that I should head east a little more often. This is a great read for anybody who loves to spend time outdoors fishing or just enjoying a walk on the river. A must read for aspiring naturalists or fish biologists.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
John and Bill capture the essence of living among the great rivers of the Pacific Northwest according to the "river calendar". Their photographs are mesmorizing, and the stories of lives lived in synchrony with salmon, steelhead, trout and rivers are captivating. THIS NOT JUST A BOOK FOR ANGLERS! Anyone who has knelt on the bank of a river and listened to the song of water tumbling over rocks will appreciate this book! Even if you have never seen a salmon or stepped foot in a river, the language is easily understood and the message of conservation of our rivers before they are put to bed can be appreciated by all who care for our planet. This book also makes a great gift for the holidays!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Great book by two fellas after my own heart. The book is filled with great photos from great rivers all over the NorthWest. Recommended reading for all steelhead fly anglers and anyone else interested in anadromous fish. AWESOME!!!!
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