(This post was published in February 2019. Richard implored me to meet him in Idaho, at Silver Creek, during the coming summer. I couldn’t but hoped to next year, in 2020. His son Todd contacted me a short while ago. Richard fished his last stream, at least his last on this side of the River Styx, on October 29th. He was in his fishing gear when they found him. I have to believe that there is no better way to cross over than in your waders. He was 86 and my friend. )
I like books of stories.
Unlike novels, you don’t have to read 500 pages to get the point. You can read them instead of staring at your iPhone waiting for the next text or email. They entertain and, more importantly, open your mind and your world just a little wider.
When I read someone’s writing
I find that I incorporate them into my circle of contacts, of friends. It just seems natural to me that I know the person who wrote this because when I write, no matter the content, I am giving the reader a view of me, an introduction, a friend request.
I came across Richard
some years ago when I discovered his book Pale Morning Dun (it is listed in the Reading Room). I assumed it was a book of fishing stories. Two of the stories did have trout fishing themes and the rest surprised me. They are engaging with strong characters and twisting plots. I could also sense that the author, like me, is a fisherman.
He just came out with a new book:
Fly Fishing the River Styx and all of the stories have fishing themes, but not of a “Me and Joe went fishing” sort.
The title story is one that will stick with me for a while.
Especially when on one of those wilderness expeditions on my bucket list. Those of you who remember your Greek mythology and the significance of Styx will not be disappointed.
When I finished reading Styx
I didn’t want it to end. I tried to only read one story at a sitting. I skipped days. I saw the connections. Each story to the other; the author to me. I needed to let my brain catch up with my emotions. Styx touched me and woke up some things that were long asleep. Give it a read and see if that happens to you.
You will get to know the characters and experience life changing events, interesting locations (especially for fly fishers) and outcomes that just may parallel life, Richard’s life and maybe your’s.
Now I know him all the better.
I feel fortunate to have found Dokey and his work. It seems unnecessary to call it good or engaging or entertaining or well written, although it is all those things. Moving is what I’d call it.
I enthusiastically suggest
Fly Fishing the River Styx, Stories with an Angle by Richard Dokey; Published by Adelaide Books, NY/Lisbon 2018
For a taste of the breath of Richard’s talent, click here for a YouTube audio made by the publisher of a recent story.