Fishing is a pursuit for which writers had an affinity even before Izaak Walton; still, it is Walton's spirit that hovers over this collection of musings by well-known writer and fisherman Gordon Wickstrom. These writings use fishing as a lens through which to view and evaluate most things in life: politics, art, friendship, religion, globalisation, relations between the sexes, time, and old age. The result is a book that will lift your spirits even when it tells you when it is acceptable to use live grasshoppers as bait. Wickstrom does not confine himself to philosophising. He discusses technical matters such as equipment and techniques. He reviews the literature. He addresses sticky issues like nativism and class issues in angling. In short, he writes about all the things that matter to people who love to fish, and those people will be grateful to him for having produced a book they can read with real pleasure when not fishing.
Gordon M. Wickstrom, born in Boulder, Colorado, lives there now after a distinguished academic career in Wyoming and the East. He edits and publishes The Bouldercreek Angler, where many of his essays first appeared. His collection of essays, Notes from an Old Fly Book, appeared in 2001. With a PhD from Stanford University, he is a retired professor of Drama, a teacher, director, actor, and writer.