Eastern North America’s fish – the Brook Trout – Salvelinus Fontinalis. A char, as we all know, and one beautiful fish. Nick’s book is the definitive work on this fish I love, and it belongs on every trout fisher’s bookshelf.
Nick Karas was a friend before I met him. I knew him from his outdoor columns in Newsday, our local paper. I also knew him from his book on saltwater fishing here on Long Island; a how to guide, spiral bound with charts included. I still use it.
He had a boat and named it Fishday in the same font as the paper. When anyone saw him, they followed. It got to be a problem so he changed the name. He was a fisherman and a journalist but first he was a scientist. “I am an ichthyologist” he would say. Educated at St. Lawrence and Johns Hopkins in biology with a journalist degree from Syracuse he was just that – and a damn good one.
I met him a few times and we shared a table at a number of banquets over the years. He spoke at our TU meetings and we corresponded on book collections and how to liquidate them: his was large. He was accessible and informed, generous and fun to be with. He passed in 2013.
This book, Brook Trout (371 pages, illustrated, 1997, The Lyons Press) is a combination of science and history, fish and fishing. He tries to answer the question: Why the fascination with Brook Trout? He talks of their uniqueness and the origins of sport fishing for them.
At a time when we are working to determine where the original strains of this native beauty are and how to preserve them, this book is the bench mark from which we can travel forward. Thanks Nick.
By the way, if you are looking to catch more trout, take a look here.
Nick also authored The Complete Book of the Striped Bass years before. Look for both of them in The Reading Room.
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