Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Unreasonable Virtue of Fly Fishing


The Unreasonable Virtue of Fly Fishing is a delightfully engaging hybrid memoir and exposition - full of wit and minutiae about fly fishing from Mark Kurlansky. Due out 2nd March 2021 from Bloomsbury, it's 272 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

The author is quite gifted at conveying a sense of calm and meditative respect for the sport of fly fishing. I grew up with fishermen and have always enjoyed camping and outdoor pursuits. They fished, I read (or foraged, or took photographs). Reading this book reminded me a lot of my younger days. There is quite a lot of history interspersed in the methodical philosophy covering equipment, mental attitude, fishermen/women, fish, locations, human interaction, and the bigger questions. I wasn't expecting to be as engaged in the read as I was. 

The illustrations, from simple charcoal and graphite sketches by the author himself to historical facsimiles and locations, really added a lot to the book. This would make a superlative gift to a fisherman, library acquisition, or for the home library. Highly recommended to fans of nature/sport writers, naturists such as Thomas McGuane and/or Norman Maclean.

The book also includes useful appendices including a bibliography and index.

Five stars. Beautifully written. 

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