Magazine writer Thomas's fly-fishing pieces are ""written more from the perspective of Alice in Wonderland than Joe...
"DREAM FISH AND ROAD TRIPS: Fly-Fishing Tales from Alaska, Montana, and Beyond"
by ‧RELEASE DATE: Feb. 14, 1996
Magazine writer Thomas's fly-fishing pieces are ""written more from the perspective of Alice in Wonderland than Joe Brooks."" Which is to say, he skips lightly over the technical claptrap and gets right to the fun of fishing and the joys of the great outdoors. Always intrigued, Thomas ""senses that Alaska was too big just to visit"" and winds up living there for six years. Fishing the Great Land is a challenge, he writes, and means coping with ""bears, mosquitoes, foul weather, bush flying, giardiasis, and general despair."" But the rewards of fishing remote spots along the Cook Inlet include 30-pound king salmon and savage strikes from rainbow trout ""intent on logging as much flight time as possible on the end of my fly line."" An 80-mile tributary that flows into Bristol Bay is a ""bio-pageant"" that features rainbows, silver, king, and red salmon, grayling, and dogs, or chums. Montana, a place he's loved since a childhood trip, boasts a ""menu that varies from delicate spring creeks to brawling rivers."" Thomas writes of fishing for trout on the Yellowstone River using muddlers and Wooly Buggers while his buddy tries ""his standard Yellowstone River cocktail--a Royal Trude preceded by a large Hate's Ear on a dropper."" Nothing works until dusk, when the caddis fly hatch begins; it's as if the river's fish ""had all gone crazy at once,"" and they fish by feel and guesswork till well past dark. Thomas claims to have fished on every continent except Antarctica, and his travels have taken him to Siberia, where his guide, Sergei, baited his homemade pole with caviar; to Tierra del Fuego to fish the Strait of Magellan; and to Molokai'i, where he bow-hunted boars and axis deer and landed a dream weke, a hallucinogenic fish. Thomas generally eschews the pretentious literary/spiritualist tone common to the fly-fishing genre. He just goes fishin' and enjoys telling about it.