Just as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance used motorcycle repair as a metaphor for the examination of self, Howell Raines uses his lifelong experiences as a fly fisherman to explore his life, politics, gender, roles as a son, husband, father, and journalist, and his attitudes toward aging and mortality. A man who has fished with presidents and Southern friends as well as with his own two sons, Raines chronicles his progress from "the Redneck way of fishing" for quantity and food to the catch-and-release way of his friend and mentor Dick Blalock. Blalock taught Raines that fly fishing is about attitude and friendship, not about catching fish. Raines imparts tips on casting and stream beds gracefully, along with his love for what he calls "waters that move" as he explores the deep funk he fell into at midlife, complete with a divorce, a seven-year feud with his father and brother, and the all-consuming animosity he allowed himself to develop toward his boss at work. By casting into the waters of his own life -- and ultimately reconciling with middle age -- Howell Raines has written a literate, contemplative celebration of life and friendship.
"Intriguing and textured.... the book of a highly intelligent man.... He limns the great appeal of fly fishing as well as anyone has done." -- Nick Lyons, The New York Times Book Review