From Publishers Weekly
Fly-fishermen will enjoy this essay collection by the author of Steelhead Country and former editor of Fly-fisher magazine. There is the obligatory chapter on quaint characters, often laconic and monomaniacal veterans of the ichthyological wars but here broadened to include two visiting Russian opera stars who try their luck in the Pacific Northwest, Raymond's home territory. Four chapters on fishing expeditions to exotic localesAChristmas Island, the River Dee in Scotland, Turneffe Island off Belize and the Miramichi River in New BrunswickAwill interest those who have never fished and don't know a bonefish from a salmon, because all make for fascinating travelogues. The subject of fishing is approached in many ways, from a discussion of the problems inherent in reviewing books on the subject through the life-cycle of the mayfly; to bamboo rods and the explosion of fly-fishing in the 1970s; to a portrait of the perfect river. There are informative snippets of information throughout, like the first literary mention of fishing with lures, which dates from the third century A.D. Kristopherson's line drawings add to the book's appeal.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
With more than 50 years of fly-fishing behind him and nearly as many years writing about it, Raymond has penned an informative, impassioned memoir about this all-consuming sport. He remembers his many fishing pals, especially Ward, with his very twisted sense of humor. More touching, though, is the brief biography of an angler Raymond never met, Bill Nation, once the country's premier fly-fisher. Nation died in 1940, and some 50 years later, a friend of Raymond's calls with a startling bit of news--the friend has been given an old trunk filled with Nation's fly-tying equipment. Raymond's description of their unloading of the antique equipment is nothing short of loving. There's some pointed commentary here, too, as when Raymond takes the outdoor publishing industry to task for, well, publishing some pretty lousy writers. Raymond's eloquent book proves that he's not among that group. Brian McCombie