A RIVER FOR CHRISTMAS And Other Stories by Ernest Schwiebert


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Fifteen true-life fly-fishing stories by the author of the definitive--and massive--guide to trout fishing, Trout (1984). Fly-fishermen seem to be a well-traveled breed, always talking about their adventures in Alaska or Norway or lreland or anywhere else where the perfect catch lurks. Schwiebert is no different. These essays span such areas as Lake Michigan, Norway, Montana, and Ballinskelligs, Ireland. Even while discussing the technical merits of using a blue charm, girdlebug, or elk-hair caddis fly, Schweibert never forgets the human touch, such as the old man that he woke one day while a boy on the banks of Lake Michigan; startled, the old man told young Schwiebert, ""I don't want a fish to interfere with my fishing."" Or his father, looking forward at age 93 to his annual birthday fishing party. Schwiebert's descriptions of foreign locales and patois are always on target. In Ireland, for instance, he perfectly captures the Gaelic proclivity for discountenancing logic when he records an extremely improbable salmon catch. His Irish ghillie tells him, ""'tis hope that catches fish--hope and a bit of the softness [rain] to change their moods.'"" The ultimate fishing spot? The river Alta in Norway, ""the Valhalla of salmon fishing--and once you have tasted it, nothing in your life is the same."" If your budget doesn't stretch to exotic locales but you dream of casting in unfamiliar waters, Schwiebert's sterling essays offer a discounted alternative to the real thing.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1988
Publisher: Stephen Greene--dist. by Viking