A gathering of writers expound on their love for fishing.
Editors Joy (The Line that Held Us, 2018, etc.) and Rickstad (The Names of Dead Girls, 2017, etc.) invited 25 authors to contribute pieces about their love of fishing (four were previously published). In his introduction, Joy writes, “all I know of beauty I learned with a fishing rod in my hand.” These delightful and sprightly essays are “about friendship, family, love and loss, and everything in between.” Throughout the anthology, nature and nostalgia run deep, as the contributors reflect on when they fell in love with the sport while fishing with relatives, friends, or alone. Ron Rash writes about fishing in North Carolina’s Goshen Creek as a 14-year-old boy and almost snagging the “biggest fish of his life.” Jill McCorkle, who loved fishing with her father, was proud to be the “daughter who could touch anything stinky and slimy without flinching.” As J. Todd Scott writes, “angling for catfish” with night crawlers and mealworms “isn’t hard. They’re always hungry and not particularly canny.” Ray McManus confesses that “much of what I understand about writing was shaped from fishing.” He can work as hard as he can and “still end up with an empty hook.” Some writers discuss fly-fishing. Scott Gould recalls his father casting “gorgeous giant perfect loops spooling off the water.” Near Georgia’s Saint Simon’s Island, Taylor Brown fearfully recounts hooking a shark in the surf. There are lovely pieces about Massachusetts lobstering and night swimming in the Great Barrier Reef when the “coral release trillions of eggs and sperm sacs simultaneously.” Natalie Baszile loved frogging in the Louisiana “bayou-dark—which is more like the darkness of deep space.” As Silas House reminds us, “fishing stories are among the best kind.” Other contributors include C.J. Box, Jim Minick, and Rebecca Gayle Howell.
Anglers of all stripes will relish these delectable morsels of love.