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Fly-Fishing for Sharks: An American Journey

Louv, Richard

29 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 074320025X / ISBN 13: 9780743200257
Published by Simon & Schuster, 2001
Used Condition: Good Soft cover
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Softcover. Sound & good copy, light to moderate rubbing/edgewear to wraps. Bookseller Inventory # 663703n

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Fly-Fishing for Sharks: An American Journey

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title


For three years, journalist Richard Louv listened to America by going fishing with Americans. Doing what many of us dream of, he traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from trout waters east and west to bass waters north and south. Fly-Fishing for Sharks is the result of his journey, a portrait of America on the water, fishing rod in hand.
To explore the cultures of fishing, Louv joined a bass tournament on Lake Erie and got a casting lesson from fly-fishing legend Joan Wulff He angled with corporate executives in Montana and fly-fished for sharks in California. He spent time with fishing-boat captains in Florida, the regulars who fish New York City's Hudson River, and a river witch in Colorado. He teamed secrets of fishing and living from steelheaders in the Northwest, Bass'n Gals in Texas, and an ice-fisher in the North Woods. Along the way, he heard from one of Hemingway's sons what it was like to fish with Papa and from Robert Kennedy, Jr., how fishing changed his fife.
As he describes the eccentricities, obsessions, and tribulations of dedicated anglers, he also uncovers the values that unite them. He reveals the healing qualities of fishing, how it binds the generations, how the angling business has grown, and how the future of fishing is threatened. But most of all, Fly-Fishing for Sharks is about the unforgettable characters Louv meets on the water and the stories they tell. From them, Louv learns about our changing relationship with nature, about a hidden America -- and about himself.


"When you're fly-fishing for sharks," observes Richard Louv from an 18-foot aluminum boat 12 miles off the coast of San Diego doing just that, "the line between lunacy and sanity is pretty thin." The truth is, most anglers, whatever they're fishing for, live fairly close to that line, and it's that proximity that leads Louv on a provocative quest. "The waters we fish, and how we fish, reflect larger political, ethical, even spiritual issues," he writes. "How shall we reconnect to nature? How should we treat fellow creatures of other species? How do we hold fast to what is old, timeless, and slow?"

As he travels from the Pacific to the Atlantic and the Gulf Coast to the frozen lakes of Northern Michigan, Louv ponders the ways and whys of pretty much the whole teeming democracy of rods and reelers--fly-fishers, ice-fishers, big-game fishers, guides, tournament bassers, even poachers--and their impact on American culture and the environment. He heads out into streams, lakes, and oceans with them, attends expos with them, buys bait with them, and sits down in coffee shops with them to better understand who they are, what lures them, what they take from the waters, and what they give back. He meets a marvelous group of players, among them the sons of Ernest Hemingway and R.F.K.; fly-fishing's incomparable first lady, Joan Wulff; and the less well-pedigreed, too, like a Texas woman who poignantly describes how bass fishing saved her life after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and her church shunned her because she was a lesbian. He explores how fishing has traditionally tied together generations--including those of his own family--and even how finding a long-forgotten strain of trout in Southern California could halt future development in its tracks. Louv might easily have gotten skunked on such an ambitious fishing trip; instead, his journey reveals much about America and its love of angling. --Jeff Silverman

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