July 7 – Northport
Sure I am still fishing, both salt and fresh, but Summer is a great time to step back from it all – get in the hammock or plop down in a lawn chair and bury yourself in a good book. It’s like a “stay-cation.” You can go anywhere you want and even travel backwards in time.
So I have a few books I just finished that I thought you might enjoy. There are more in the Reading Room if these don’t tickle your fancy.
Montauk is more than a fishing destination or the home of Paul Simon and Dick Cavett. It is a community, a place where working people live …and die. It has a rich history of commercial fishing as well as sport fishing and much more.
I first went there in the 60’s to surf Ditch and sow some wild oats. I have returned many times since for surfing, fishing and vacations with the family. Each year I try to make the pilgrimage even if it is just to have lunch with a friend and watch the waves march in from the Atlantic. The book is dedicated to a fellow surfer from Levittown, Rusty Drumm, who passed last year.
This collection of stories, excerpts from books, newspaper articles and poems struck me in a way that I cannot really explain. Salt air and sand fell from its pages as I read of storms, men lost at sea, local bars and even Mr. John’s Pancakes.
The proceeds from the sale of the book go to environmental education programs of Concerned Citizens of Montauk and the Third House Nature Center. Pick up a copy and take a breath between readings. I think you will enjoy it.
We who like to fish often focus on the fragile nature of the balance between keeping and releasing, of conserving both the fish and the environment they live in, of getting access and protecting our rights. I wonder how many of us understand the dire straits the fish of this world are in? This book doesn’t discuss flies or lures or trips to New Zealand for trophy brown trout. It expands the reader’s view to the broader picture, the crisis that faces the fish, the world and each of us. The author is not a hysterical zealot raging against the injustice of it all. Rather he presents a scientific and scholarly discussion of where we are all heading with regard to fish as a food source in a very readable and entertaining way. As we lobby to protect our recreation, we better also pay attention to this topic, as once our fish are needed to feed the world, priorities are bound to shift and we will be left with tofu and stories of the fishing that once was.
Haiku is a simple and beautiful form of poetry which seems to have the power to shift our mind and thoughts in just a few lines. I came across this collection in a newspaper article about the poet who is a man from the Bronx who loves the beach and shares it with his young son, year round. I keep it by my reading chair, picking it up every few days and randomly opening to a page to read one. Then sit quietly, letting it wash over me. I find it a good way to start my day. Give it a try:
I have a few more that I am in the process of reading and will let you know how I like them shortly.
If you want a refresher on your fly fishing, please give my newest book a try: Click Here.
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