A fly fisher who can see past a trout

Fish On, Fish Off

By Stephen Sautner

There are so many new books out each year on fly fishing (and fishing in general) but most of them, the vast majority it seems, want to tell you where to fish or how to nymph, spey or dap – all good you understand, but where are the fishing stories? Where are the books you can relax with, smile at and escape into?  Where are the memories, adventures and blunders we all can chuckle over?

Well, I found one.

As a writer of fishing stories, I look on those few storytellers who get into print through publishers (vs self-publishing) with envy. When I saw the honorable Lyons Press imprint, having been unable to get through to those who determine what gets published, I bought it with a bit of Irish resentment.  â€œHow good can it be?” I grumbled.

I took it home and put it in my reading queue. I was just finishing up the historic Practical Dry-Fly Fishing by Emlyn M. Gill (1912) which was published 2 years before the much better known Dry Fly on Fast Water by George La Branche (1914).

When I get to it, I dare the book to entertain me. I hope to find clumsy paragraphs and corny stories so I can snicker.  Maybe even a few typos. My first impression is that they printed it on really nice paper.

My second impression is how beautiful the water colors are, which Sautner painted. As I start to read, I note his credentials and his current line of work and where he fishes. I relax a bit. The dedication with a photo of his friend with vintage surf fishing tackle appeals to my eclectic fishing habits and so I dive in.

From the first story I am hooked.

This is an easy to read, well written and enjoyable book of tales built around fishing. Among the best that I have ever read. Pick it up before turning in, or during an afternoon break. It will transport you to a beach or stream instantly, and will leave you lingering there.

Bravo Stephen – Bravo. Click here for link to book on Amazon.