The Next Valley Over: An Angler's Progress

Charles Gaines

Published by Crown, 2000
ISBN 10: 0609605399 / ISBN 13: 9780609605394
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Synopsis: Acclaimed sporting and adventure writer Charles Gaines has spent much of his life on the water, around the world, fishing rod in hand, angling for trout, redfish, salmon, bonefish, bass, marlin, tuna, and practically everything else that swims. Just about any place where there's water to fish and eccentrics to keep him company, Charles has been.

The Next Valley Over, a collection of his best writing on fishing over the years, culled from the pages of Men's Journal, Forbes FYI, Sports Afield, and other journals, is about the heart of the sport. While his stories are lined with the accoutrement of angling--the art of technique, the equipment, the lodges, the fish themselves--they're really about why we love to fish and what it means to our culture. As Thoreau once said: "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." What "they are after" is what Charles is curious about, and he has devoted a better part of his life and sanity to coming up with answers.

His pilgrimage is divided into three parts. "Striking the Tent" sets the tone--the spark is ignited on Lake Tadpole when Charles can start to see the design of his life as a fisherman, the stillness and perfect solitude of a day starting at 3:45 a.m. casting to cruising brown trout in Tasmania; a Montana guide who has given up all material possessions to spend his life fishing; a day in the life of the world's greatest fishing lodge. Part Two, "Gone Fishing," is the relentless pursuit of "the next valley over." Charles takes us around the world (seventeen countries) to fish for just about every species known to man. Here is the essence of fishing stories, with exotic locales, a wide cast of characters, and a lot of partying. In the process, Charles almost "wanders off the edge of his own map." The final part, "Rounding Third," finds Charles turning fifty and putting things into perspective: gaining an understanding for the fragility of the wild environments he loves; taking more care and time with his fishing; and completing the circle of his angler's progress back to the home water where he started and which he comes to know truly for the first time.

Review: In the world according to Charles Gaines, anglers who travel in pursuit of their craft can be classified as either pastoralists or nomads. The former enjoy holing up in their lodges almost as much as they do their fishing holes; the latter don't care much for the amenities, they just like to keep moving, to see what's biting in "the next valley over" of the title. For Gaines--a self-confessed nomad who admits to appreciating the pastoralist point of view--there have been enough "next valleys over" to circle the world and come home again. Culled from three decades of Gaines's magazine journalism, the 14 adventures in these pages include stops in 17 countries (with ports of call as exotic as Tasmania and Argentina and as close to the heart as the old Alabama lake he fished as a boy with his father), quests for a remarkable variety of fish, and a good deal of on- and off-the-water knowledge.

"Real progress began for me somewhere in my mid-thirties," Gaines writes,

with the realization that no matter however else I might be benighted, I would no longer, ever, be one of the poor souls referred to in this quote from Thoreau that I copied off (fishing guide) A.J. DeRosa's dashboard: "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." From that moment on, I knew it was really dreams I was after.
Which makes The Next Valley Over a dream book that generously invites in the less peripatetic anglers among us to share in the fantasy. --Jeff Silverman

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Title: The Next Valley Over: An Angler's Progress
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Crown Publishing Group, Inc., Toronto, 2000. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Very Good +. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good +. First Edition. i-xvi, 237 pp. Dustjacket: tiny corner edge chips Book previous owner's name and phone number neatly in small ink at top of FFEP Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 130289

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Book Description NY, NY: Crown Pubishers, (c.2000). First edition, first printing. Signed; Autographed., 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. Hardcover, with dust jacket. Cream and blue cover with silver lettering on the spine. Book is in fine condition. Dust jacket is in fine condition. Foreword by Terry McDonell. Signed by the author to a friend on the half title page, dated May 2000. The author, an acclaimed sporting and adventure writer, gives us a collection of his best writing on fishing over the years. He is the author of PUMPING IRON and other books. 237 pages. First edition. Signed by the author. Language: eng. Inscribed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # G4-30

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