Fishing is a pursuit for which writers have had an affinity as far back as Izaak Walton, and Walton's spirit hovers over this collection of musings by well-known literary fisherman Gordon Wickstrom. These writings use fishing as a lens through which to view and evaluate most things in life: politics, art, friendship, religion, globalization, relations between the sexes, time, seasonality, and old age. The result is a book that will lift your spirits even when it expresses annoyance with the technology-obsessed graphite rod fly fishermen and looks back on a golden age when it was acceptable to use grasshoppers as bait.
Wickstrom does not confine himself to philosophizing. He discusses technical matters such as equipment and techniques. He reviews the literature. He addresses the sticky issues of nativism and catch-and-release-ism. In short, he writes about all the things that matter to people who love to fish, and those people will be grateful to him for having produced a book they can read when they are not fishing.
EXCERPT FROM "PERHAPS", ONE OF THE ESSAYS:
"I have seen the 'old folks' sitting in lawn chairs along the shores of lakes & reservoirs, quietly and contentedly, and often successfully plying trout with bait tossed from spinning reels to good distances, and, in the spirit of the forked-stick, waiting patiently for a 'bite.' Perhaps that's not too terrible a fate for old folks. Where they haunt, it's right & proper to kill a few fish for the table in the spirit of their old times."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Gordon M. Wickstrom has lived in and fished near Boulder, Colorado, most of his life. He is the editor and publisher of The Boulder Creek Angler, where many of these essays first appeared. He is a retired professor of English and a Shakespearean actor.