Archive for the ‘Environmental Literature’ Category

M.W. Reynolds: “Shooting, Fly Fishing, Motorcycles, Apparel”

September 26, 2017

I was recently in Denver, Colorado for a conference. While there, I took the opportunity to visit the M.W. Reynolds store at 1616 Stout Street.  On it’s storefront window, M.W. Reynolds proclaims that it specializes in “Shooting, Fly Fishing, Motorcycles, and Apparel.” Behind the glass sits an early Norton Commando motorcycle. Inside the store is a 1960s Moto Morini and two Triumph motorcycles. Of course, there is also fly fishing tackle and a lot of other merchandise.

The fly fishing tackle includes a wide selection of graphite, fiberglass, and bamboo rods. Among the latter, you can find examples from such notable makers as D.L. Whitehead, Tim Zietak, and Gary Lacey. The store also sells a variety of reels, including beautiful s-handle reels from Bellinger and Saracione. To round thing out, the classic-minded angler can find vests and bags from Filson. Importantly, though, the store also sells plenty of more affordable fly fishing equipment. For instance, they stock Fenwick and Redington glass rods and entry-level Loop and Redington reels.

Amidst tables and racks of bags, motorcycling and sporting clothing, and grooming supplies, there is  large collection sporting books. These range from texts like Jim Corbet’s classic The Maneaters of Kumaon to Graydon Hilyard’s Bogdan, devoted to Stanley Bogdan’s masterpiece fly reels.

The staff are relaxed and very accommodating. If you are expecting them to be a bit stuffy, based upon the high-end nature of the merchandise they sell, you are completely wrong. So, if you are in Denver, be sure to visit the store. For those who enjoy contemporary classic tackle, it is a must. You can also find M.W. Reynolds online.

Public Access and the Threat of Theft

September 6, 2017

It often amazes me that I have easy access to such texts as a first edition of Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler (1653). In my mind, holding a book like this is a genuine privilege. 

When exercising this privilege, I sometimes wonder about the history of The Compleat Angler and other angling books. Who held them before I did? Who read them? And how did these texts influence their readers?

Title page. The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man’s Recreation. Izaak Walton, 1653, London: Maxey. Manuscripts, Archives, & Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

These special books are housed in Washington State University Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections. Specifically, The Compleat Angler and other angling texts are part of The Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation Collection.  Assoc. Dean Dr. Trevor James Bond and the rest of the MASC librarians and staff do a great job of of caring for and protecting the texts. They also do a great job of balancing these duties with the need to make them accessible to the public. This is no small feat.

Cover. The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative Man’s Recreation. Izaak Walton, 1653, London: Maxey. Manuscripts, Archives, & Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

As it happens, WSU was the victim of the most prolific book thief in US history, Stephen Blumberg. Blumberg lived in Iowa but traveled throughout North America targeting various collections of rare and fine books, especially at universities. He used stealth, disguise, and incredible ingenuity to steal at least 23,000 books and manuscripts. He stole a huge number of these from WSU. After their theft was discovered, WSU Police Officer Steve Huntsberry played an active role in searching for the thief. Ultimately, Blumberg was betrayed by a friend to the FBI. At the time, in 1990, the collection of books and manuscripts discovered in Blumberg’s home was valued at approximately twenty million dollars. Below, you can see a short video of Huntsberry describing the case as well as some footage of Blumberg’s illicit collection.

Blumberg was eventually sentenced to spend four years in prison and to pay a large fine. In the meantime, WSU’s  main library was expanded to include the “Holland Addition.” MASC is now located in this new area, which happens to be a genuinely beautiful setting. Here, the rare books and manuscripts are protected not only by the librarians’ watchful eyes, but also by state-of-the-art security designed to deal with both human and environmental threats.

Fly fishers and other practitioners of field sports usually think of “public access” as having to do with the land. But it also relates to the cultural history of our activities and to historical understandings of why outdoor recreation is important. At WSU, you can access this information. If you find yourself in the area, I urge you to do so. And if you live elsewhere, you should see what you can find in your local libraries. You might be surprised.

For more information on Blumberg, look for Steve Huntsberry’s “The Legacy Thief: The Hunt for Stephen Blumberg,” Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 10, no. 4 (Winter 1991): 181-183. I also recommend Nicholas Basbanes’ A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books (Holt, 1999), which includes a chapter on Blumberg.

 

 

Fishing the North Branch of the Lamoille

August 18, 2017

This following essay is written by guest Jed Feffer, who is a mutual friend of North Carolina bamboo rodmaker Munsey Wheby. Jed is a retired teacher, and  he has been fly fishing for nearly 20 years. Like me, Jed often feels a strong sense of connection, while fishing.  “It can give me a heightened sense of the small details around me,” Jed writes.  It’s my pleasure to share his great piece. Both the writing and the pictures are his.

 

Fishing the North Branch of the Lamoille

Driving up over Eden Mountain Road is a joy.   There is the cooling of the air, and at the peak a stained barn, stately and dark.   The bark of the bordering maple trees are like the barn wood.  The inhabitants have built on the wall, and by the border trees statuaries of stone.  These are pillars of varying sizes and shapes, that add a fanciful touch to Eden Mountain Road, and the neighboring woods.  Someday, I will stop there to gaze over the southerly view, where the mountains, hills and farm fields fan out.

Usually, I am in a hurry to the town of Eden Mills, then farther to Belvidere Center, where the North Branch of the Lamoille begins its sparkling descent to the Lamoille.  Today, I pay more attention to the northerly view.  I consult my map, and find the peak to the north is Belvidere Mountain.  The Long Trail winds its way to its peak and beyond.  I note its closeness to our home in Greensboro.  It would be an easy day hike.  I think how brilliantly alive the trees would be in the fall, and how bracing the air with the sweet smells of leaf dryness and decay.

Below and out of sight is Lake Eden, the source of the Gihon River, and beyond that the bog that gives rise to the North Branch.  I remember the loss of a large Brown in the pool off Bog Road.  I was using a weighted stonefly nymph, and as it swept into the current I felt the snag of a rock.  Pulling up on the rod tip the snag began to move across the pool.  I was tight to a large fish.  As I drew it to the lip of my net I could see its mottled back and hooked jaw.  The net sent it shooting behind a rock wedged against the riffles.  It only took the pressure of the water and the stone to pry loose the hook.

That loss I note whenever I pass by Bog Road south into Belvidere Center, and then downstream to Back Road.  The section of the North Branch paralleling Back Road is one of its prettiest.  Back Road runs on the other side of the river from Route 109.  But Back Road carries with it a peaceful sway that Route 109 cannot possess.

It is a dirt road with curves and shadows, and houses set  along its length, and even a single covered bridge.  My first stop is where the road veers to the woods.   Across the way is the prettiest white house and barn you can imagine.  Rarely is anyone home, yet the house is clearly furnished, and the lawn  always trimmed.   The house is newly painted, and the other out buildings are well spaced.  Today, while walking back from fishing, I notice the screened in porch, and the shaded kitchen with table and appliances.  You know, a home away from home for a weary fisherman.

I have not forgotten fishing on the North Branch, but the details surrounding water, roadway, mountain, and house are all part of it.  They are at least half of the reason for going.

Today, it has just passed 1:00 p.m.  I have already eaten half my lunch under a blue spruce near the Eden General Store.  I’ve passed the upstream spots I’ve previously fished, and the others that I have ignored for lack of easy access.  I like stopping by the white house and its garage.   The road’s sway beckons the fisherman out of his car, and into the woods bordering the stream.

Today, I string up a 3 weight fly rod with a 4 weight line.  I am going to wet wade because the air is 75 degrees.  I tie on a small muddler minnow to my leader.  It’s been so long since I used a muddler minnow.  It has a cleanly cut deer hair head and a thin body of tinsel.  As a teen-ager I used them to catch brook trout.  All the stones in the North Branch must have sculpins darting amongst them.  The muddler minnow is a good sculpin imitation.

Bamboo and Nickle Silver: the Tools of the Trade

I’ve spotted a couple of nice runs that should have fish in them.  I wade over to a deep run, but multiple casts of the muddler yield no strikes.  I notice that in this fast run the muddler doesn’t have the weight to achieve any depth, and it swims only a few inches below the surface.   Midday fish are likely hiding down close to the rocks.

Inspection of the bottom reveals many caddis homes, one large stonefly nymph, and many mayfly nymphs.  I decide to nymph with split shot, a yellow plastic “indicator” and a gray and brown pheasant tail nymph, highlighted by a gold bead.  This is a good imitation of the nymphs on the underside of the  rock.  I swing my line upstream, so the nymph sweeps into the run.  This I do a half-dozen times without a strike, so I adjust the indicator to achieve more depth when the nymph hits the run.  I cast further upstream to give the nymph more time to gain depth.

Then it happens, a fish is on before my brain is aware of it.  My hand knows it, as the fish peels line out of the old Hardy reel.  This fish fights hard for its size and puts a good bend in the cane rod.  In a few minutes, I have a gold bellied trout to net.  It has big irregular spotting on its back.  I notice its eye has that subtle awareness of its surroundings.  I hold him in the water to release him.  He quickly clears my hand with a friskiness that speaks health and vigor.

I make my way downstream appraising the depth of the water, and adjusting the leader length accordingly.  Water depth is constantly changing in a stream, and for my nymph rig to be effective I have to change the distance of the indicator to the nymph.  The indicator keeps my nymph moving in a straight line as it flows with the current.  Separating the indicator further from the nymph allows it to move at a greater depth.

Now I am in water inches deep, and I get strong, rapid slashes at the nymph.  The fish are hungry and they are spotting the nymph quickly and grabbing it.

As I fish these riffles I notice the tall, red barked Hemlocks that shade the river, and the light, new green growth of their leaves.  The bank is thick with birch and beech trees.  There’s a bench above the river bordered by pink and purple lupines.

I’ve brought in 3 fish so far.  The last one jumped suddenly in the riffles.  I’ve also lost four or more fish to insecure hook sets.  Still, the action is frequent and surprising.  These fish are holding in small water among the rocks.  They are getting the shelter and aerated water they need.

The Eye of Awareness

I’m so immersed in the fishing I fail to grasp how my nymph gets caught on the back of my shirt.  When these things happen in fishing they prove all but overwhelming.  I see the direction the hook has taken, but tugging on the hook only creates a tear in the material.

I decide finally to take off my shirt.  Standing bare chested I try and find a way to remove the hook.  It’s too late.  All my tugging has broken the hook and my pheasant tail nymph can no longer be used.  I don’t have another one like it.

Fishermen are inclined to invest supernatural powers to flies.  When they are working they exert magical power.  I have placed my trust more in this fly than is warranted, and my confidence drops.

I try any number of other nymph varieties: a beaded black nymph, a hare’s ear with green irridescent sides, and a brass beaded pheasant tail.  None produce like the dull brown and gray nymph.  I attribute this to “Fisherman’s Magic”; the desire that imbues a fly with magical enchantment.  A logical explanation is that the little nymph is like all the common mayfly nymphs that cling to river rocks.  These are the nymphs the trout know and expect.  Enough of reasonable conclusions.  Better to have a talisman, a lucky rabbit’s foot, an enchanted trout fly.

As I work my way downstream a boy emerges by the shore on his bicycle.  “Catch anything”? he asks.

“Yeah,” I call back, “3 and lost 4 or 5.”

“If you caught them, where are they?” he asks incredulously.

“Oh, I let them go.”

“My dad makes me do that.”  He adds sorrowfully.

He continues to ask me more questions about the fly, about the rod, the leader and tippet.  I satisfy most of his questions, and he pushes his bike up some steps to a dirt path and disappears.

I realize by now that I am getting tired.  I am slipping more on the rocks.  I find myself less patient with the surrounding flow of the water, and I am getting hungry.  It is really time to leave, but as the light wanes I imagine the large browns moving from their hiding places, and assuming evening feeding lanes.  How can I go home now, just as the biggest fish of all are beginning to stir?

I walk up the stairs, down the path to Back Road, and to my car across from the white house.  I will drive down to another spot.  I find one about a half mile down the road.  After getting out of my car, I can see a large, shaded pool.  I find a way to the river, careful to take my wading staff.

I approach the slow, dark pool and see the faint rings of a rising trout.  As I watch, the back of a fish breaks the surface.  This trout is rooting for nymphs.  As these fish feed, a couple mayfly spinners dance on a column of air.  A few white mayflies rise casually above the water.

On the far side of this dark pool a trout makes two gulping rises.  I take off my mayfly nymph, and tie on a lightly colored mayfly dun.  It’s a tricky cast to this rising fish because the fly has to pass over the fish, just as the water speeds up over some debris.    When I retrieve the fly back over the lip of wood, it intercepts a branch sticking out of the water.  This branch proves to be a graveyard for my flies.  I lose three flies in a row to this branch.

The Last Pool of the Day

I have nothing complimentary to say to this branch.  The rising fish knows just how to keep me interested in this difficult target.  On one of many casts he seems to boil near my fly as I retrieve it.  I am never sure whether he is chasing a real insect, or pursuing my fly.  This mystery, and the difficulty of the cast keep me casting to him.

If this fish proves irresistible, then another huge fish to my left increases my interest in staying.  The fish looks to be the size of a small beaver, as its back and fin come out of the water.

I continue to cast my dry fly first to the fish by the lip of wood, and then to the giant who just showed himself.  But my hunger, and the growing darkness are playing on my nerves.  I am beginning to dream of a warm dry place with plenty of food.  I reluctantly turn toward the shore, and wade in the direction of my car.

The drive back down Eden Mountain Road will be in the opposite direction, but the stone statuary will still be there, and the darkly stained barn.  I will keep in my memory that one riser by the lip of woody debris, and his tag team companion boiling in the center of the pool.  They will keep me coming back to the North Branch for another day of fishing.

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Harrison’s Green Man

May 11, 2017

Green Man carving, circa 12th c., from Church of St. Mary and St. David in Kilpeck, England. Wikimedia Commons.

Jim Harrison portrait by Andy Anderson, from Dead Man’s Float.

In Jim Harrison‘s final book of poetry, he includes a piece on the Green Man. This figure appears repeatedly over the centuries in European and Euro-American literature and art. His exact origin is unknown and interpretations of his symbolism vary greatly. Historically, from certain Christian perspectives, he represented the base world, Paganism, and the devil itself. From more mystical Christian perspectives, he represented the Holy Spirit and the life God breathed into all that lives. The best known manifestation of the Green Man may be in Arthurian tales, particularly in the 14th c. Middle English “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” (author unknown), wherein his meaning is as ambiguous as ever. In the 1990’s he was romanticized by poet and so-called “Men’s Movement” founder Robert Bly. Today, he receives positive attention from many neo-Pagans. Regardless, the Green Man is most often associated with “nature,” wildness, and similar concepts. Certainly, this is the association Harrison has in mind. In his poem, titled simply “The Green Man,” the figure embodies knowledge of how one should live in the non-human world. But if we consider the poem in the context of Harrison’s other non-fiction work, we might argue that his Green Man embodies knowledge of how one should live always.

Illustration of the Green Knight (holding his severed head), from the original manuscript containing Sir Gawain and the Green Night. Wikimedia Commons.

“The Green Man”

Since early childhood I believed
in a door in the forest. I looked for it
for more than a half century
and it evaded me. The Green Man
lived there, part tree and part human.
Keeping his distance he told me a lot.
Walk mostly sideways in the wilderness
to confuse those who would track you.
When outside, sleep with your eyes open
And see the coyote pup approach out
of curiosity, the small bear resting
against a stump a hundred yards away,
a warbler standing on your toe singing.
When I lost he howled at me from a tree, “Wrong way.”
I dreamed where he lived, high on the steep
bank of the river concealed under a thick drapery
of tree roots but I skidded on my tummy
down into the river, a sign to give up.
There was a stinking wolf den close by so my dog
wouldn’t stay with me. The Green Man, alone, forever.

Jim Harrison, Dead Man’s Float (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), 54.

Montana Books

March 13, 2017

Online magazine The Montana Mint published a list of recommended books about Montana recently. The post is titled “The Greatest Books Ever Written About Montana.” The claim implied in this title is quite a stretch, but they do recommend some wonderful books. Some of these I recommend to you, in turn.

Of course, you are already familiar with Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It and Other Stories (1976). Maclean fans might also enjoy Ivan Doig’s This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western World (1980), in which the author is nearly as poetic about the Montana landscape as Maclean. The Montana Mint lists several other Doig titles, as well.

The Big Sky, first edition data (fair use image, from Wikipedia)

Another worthwhile read is A.B. Guthrie, Jr’s The Big Sky (1947). This classic novel is a deeply engaging and sometimes disturbing fictional account of the mountain men, set during the first half of the 1800s. It left quite an impression upon me, as a young man. Its 1949 sequel, The Way West, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

For a Native American perspective upon the sort of Indian/white interactions described by Guthrie, read James Welch’s Fools Crow (1986). Welch was a Gros Ventre/Blackfeet author, who remains a looming figure in Native American literature. In Fools Crow, he tells the story of a fictionalized Piikani Blackfoot man. The story culminates with the 1870 Bear Creek (Marias River) Massacre, during which the US Army murdered approximately 200 Piikanis. Fools Crow does not mesh perfectly with Blackfoot oral histories, but it is a compelling book that certainly conveys Native emotions about such devastating events as that which occurred in 1870.

For the full list of books recommended by The Montana Mint, see their post.

 

 

2017 Hemingway Festival

January 28, 2017

The dates and schedule for the 2017 Hemingway Festival have been announced. The event, hosted by the University of Idaho, will take place on March 3 and 4 in Moscow, Idaho. The annual festival celebrates the work of the deeply talented, if sometimes controversial writer, as well as the latest recipient of the PEN/Hemingway Award. This year, the award was given to Ottessa Moshfegh, author of the acclaimed novel, Eileen. Hemingway, of course, needs no introduction to readers and anglers. But for more information about the festival held in his name, I refer you to last year’s post.

The Shape of the Voyage

December 6, 2016

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Cover Art by Russell Chatham, from 1989’s The Theory & Practice of Rivers and New Poems (Clark City Press).

Jim Harrison (1937-2016), of whom I have written before, published The Theory and Practice of Rivers (Winn Books) in 1986. He included the poem of the same name in a later collection, as well. Here, I offer an excerpt from that lengthy poem–the first two stanzas. They appeal to me on this wintry December day that provokes the same sort of self-reflection found in Harrison’s poem.

The Theory and Practice of Rivers

The rivers of my life:
moving looms of light,
anchored beneath the log
at night I can see the moon
up through the water
as shattered milk, the nudge
of fishes, belly and back
in turn grating against log
and bottom; and letting go, the current
lifts me up and out
into the dark, gathering motion,
drifting into an eddy
with a sideways swirl,
the sandbar cooler than the air:
to speak it clearly,
how the water goes
is how the earth is shaped.

It is not so much that I got
there from here, which is everyone’s
story: but the shape
of the voyage, how it pushed
outward in every direction
until it stopped:
roots of plants and trees,
certain coral heads,
photos of splintered lightning,
blood vessels,
the shapes of creeks and rivers.

 

 

End-of-Day

August 29, 2016
Night at the Cabin

The Evening Scene, at the Cabin

 

“When Day is Done”

If the day is done,
if birds sing no more,
if the wind has flagged tired,
then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me,
even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep
and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.

By Rabindranath Tagore, 1913 Nobel Prize-winning Bengali poet.

Book Announcement: By a Thread: A Retrospective on Women and Fly Tying

August 2, 2016

Erin Block has written a book dedicated to the subjects of women and flytying. Titled By a Thread: A Retrospective on Women in Fly Tying, the book is published by Whitefish Press. Block previously wrote The View from Coal Creek, also available from Whitefish. She is also the Editor-at-Large of Trout Magazine and has published numerous articles.

Feather_DJ

Dust jacket image from Whitefish Press website.

Marketers in the tackle industry and other areas of fly fishing and outdoor commerce pay increasing attention to women as consumers. Sometimes this is a good thing. Other times it is transparently trite and commercial. For instance, marketing a pink version of a production fly rod really just draws great attention to the supposed gulf between men and women and reifies our often inaccurate views of gender. That said, if a pink rod appeals to you–no matter your gendered identity–enjoy.

What many marketers and fly fishing enthusiasts forget is that women have been involved with fly fishing since its late medieval growth in popularity as a leisure activity in Europe. In fact, generations of writers and anglers attributed authorship of the “Treatyse of fysshynge wyth an Angle”–the first major work devoted to fly fishing and printed in the English language –to a woman.

There is no clear evidence that Berners was the author of the Treatyse or even that she existed. It was first printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1496, who included it in the The Boke of St. Albans. Berners (then spelled Barnes) was already identified as the supposed author of The Boke. So, she became the supposed author of the Treatyse as well. What really matters,  however, is that generations of readers were content with the idea that a woman wrote the Treatyse, whether it is historical fact or not.

Other women–real ones–played important roles in fly fishing and other field sports in subsequent centuries. For instance, I wrote earlier about Megan Boyd and Kiss the Water, a recent film that honored her place in history as a master salmon flytier. Blocks discusses many other such figures. The reader who wants to look beyond pink rods to the real contributions that women have already been making to fly fishing and other outdoor activities should therefore read By a Thread. Clearly, I am eager to do so.

Just to drive my point home, I share a wonderful 1955 British Pathé video about fly fishing on Scotland’s River Tweed. Notice the flytier, who features so prominently.

KL

Book Announcement: Backcasts: A Global History of Flyfishing & Conservation

June 30, 2016

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On July 11, The University of Chicago Press publishes a book that will interest a wide variety of readers. The book is titled Backcasts: A Global History of Flyfishing & Conservation. It is edited by Sam Snyder, Bryon Borgelt, and Elizabeth Tobey. The 400 page book considers fish and fishing from overlapping recreational, cultural, and scientific perspectives.

The U of Chicago Press is publishing Backcasts exactly 40 years after they published Norman Maclean’s famous A River runs Through It and Other Stories. That publication was seminal, not only because of Maclean’s fine writing, but also because Chicago had never published a non-academic book before (though Maclean, a professor at Chicago, was an academic himself). Backcasts certainly qualifies as an academic book, but it should appeal to a much broader audience. The writing is accessible and the topics are wide-ranging. Just take a look at the table of contents (from U of Chicago Press’ publication webpage):

Foreword: Looking Downstream from A River
Jen Corrinne Brown

Acknowledgments

Introduction. A Historical View: Wading through the History of Angling’s Evolving Ethics
Samuel Snyder

Part One: Historical Perspectives
1 Trout and Fly, Work and Play, in Medieval Europe
Richard C. Hoffmann
2 Piscatorial Protestants: Nineteenth-Century Angling and the New Christian Wilderness Ethic
Brent Lane
3 The Fly Fishing Engineer: George T. Dunbar, Jr., and the Conservation Ethic in Antebellum America
Greg O’Brien

Part Two: Geographies of Sport and Concern
4. Protecting a Northwest Icon: Fly Anglers and Their Efforts to Save Wild Steelhead
Jack Berryman
5 Conserving Ecology, Tradition, and History: Fly Fishing and Conservation in the Pocono and Catskill Mountains
Matthew Bruen
6 From Serpents to Fly Fishers: Changing Attitudes in Blackfeet Country toward Fish and Fishing
Ken Lokensgard
7 Thymallus tricolor: The Michigan Grayling
Bryon Borgelt

Part Three: Native Trout and Globalization
8 “For Every Tail Taken, We Shall Put Ten Back”: Fly Fishing and Salmonid Conservation in Finland
Mikko Saikku
9 Trout in South Africa: History, Economic Value, Environmental Impacts, and Management
Dean Impson
10 Holy Trout: New Zealand and South Africa
Malcolm Draper
11 A History of Angling, Fisheries Management, and Conservation in Japan
Masanori Horiuchi

Part Four: Ethics and Practices of Conservation
12 For the Health of Water, Fish, and People: Women, Angling, and Conservation
Gretel Van Wieren
13 Crying in the Wilderness: Roderick Haig-Brown, Conservation, and Environmental Justice
Arn Keeling
14 The Origin, Decline, and Resurgence of Conservation as a Guiding Principle in the Federation of Fly Fishers
Rick Williams
15 It Takes a River: Trout Unlimited and Coldwater Conservation
John Ross

Conclusion. What the Future Holds: Conservation Challenges and the Future of Fly Fishing
Jack Williams and Austin Williams

Epilogue
Chris Wood, CEO, Trout Unlimited

Appendix. Research Resources: A List of Libraries, Museums, and Collections Covering Sporting History, Especially Fly Fishing
Contributors
Index

Readers of angling or other environmental literature will recognize the names of many contributors. My own name is among them. I am particularly pleased to be a contributor because editor Dr. Sam Snyder is a friend. Like me, he has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies. His academic emphasis is upon the relationship between religion and the environment. In recent years, he has worked with several organizations protecting Alaska’s rivers. Sam’s co-editors are Dr. Bryon Borgelt, principal of St. Rose School in Perrysburg, Ohio and scholar of sport fishing and conservation, and Dr. Elizabeth Tobey, who has worked for the National Sporting Library & Museum and is an authority on field sports and religion. Of course, the cover artwork is by angler, author, and artist James Prosek.

I have yet to receive my complimentary copy of Backcasts, but having watched this book take shape, I am confident that it is going to represent a real contribution to existing literature and that it will be an entertaining and informative read, as well.  Books published by university presses can be pretty expensive these days, but the hardcover version of Backcasts is currently priced at a reasonable $45.00. You can order it from the U of Chicago Press, from Amazon.com, and hopefully from local bookstores.


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