Fly fisherwomen are increasingly ``claiming their stretch of the river,'' states Morris (Uncommon Waters, 1991), who claims space on the sportsman's (sic) shelf for high-quality, knowledgeable work by women. Avoiding ``great gonzo stories laced with competition and one- upmanship,'' Morris opts for humor and insight in selections that reflect how women come to fly-fishing from a different direction. Not a traditional rite of passage for women, the sport is a means of ``finding self by moving in tune with nature's rhythms.'' Fly- casting expert Joan Salvato Wulff notes that as a child her favorite pastimes were fishing, ballet, and tap dancing. Studying dance, she believes, improved her casting because it taught her to use her whole body. Though ``women bond faster, tighter, deeper,'' according to outdoor writer Pam Houston, she admits to envying the simple, timeless rituals of male bonding, which she observes firsthand while fishing in Michigan at 2 a.m. in midwinter ``with a bunch of male poets'' and ``lunatic outdoorsmen.'' In a well- crafted, funny essay, novelist E. Annie Proulx tells of her excursion to Vermont with Sven, a man who ``attracts trouble the way some dogs attract porcupines''; during the trip they breach a beaver dam that's flooded an old access road in hopes of unsticking Sven's prized fishing car so they can get to a possibly mythic lake. Entries by American Fly Fisher editor Margot Page, novelist Lorian Hemingway, Forbes editor Allison Moir, and conservationist Elizabeth Storer are also deserving of attention. But the best find comes from poet Ailm Travler, who notes that fly-fishing, like any other passion, ``is about suffering,'' especially in her home state of New Mexico, ``where the very existence of water is a contradiction.'' A noteworthy, entertaining collection.