A PLACE ON THE WATER by Jerry Dennis


An Angler's Reflections on Home
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 Pleasant essays--five of which won first-prize awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America--on a youth spent fishing and canoeing the lakes and rivers of northern Michigan, by Dennis (It's Raining Frogs and Fishes, 1992--not reviewed). Having grown up in the 1960's in the vicinity of Michigan's Silver and Long lakes and Au Sable and Boardman rivers, Dennis is able to write of waters once teeming with fish but now barren--and, happily, of once-barren waters now full of fish. He seems to have done a lot of his fishing at night, claiming that nocturnal angling offers ``your best hope of deceiving a large brown trout with an artificial fly.'' In one piece, he and his teenage buddies jump a fence in the dark of night to fish a string of farm ponds in the middle of a pasture filled with grazing buffalo. In others, like ``A New-Moon Bass'' and ``Night Paddling,'' Dennis recalls fishing with his father and floating ``through the darkness on muggy summer nights.'' In 1970, he tells us, he observed hundreds of lake trout circling hypnotically in the glow of dock lights. Though a pilgrimage to the Fox River (Hemingway's model for ``Big Two- Hearted River'') disappoints him, Dennis is pleased to meet Robert Traver, the late author of Anatomy of a Murder. Traver, a former state supreme court justice, delights Dennis by taking him into the back woods to his favorite fishing hole. Dennis also hunts for a legendary huge ``old brown'' living in a dark, still pool of the Boardman. He never catches the fish, but, as he notes, ``catching a trout like that isn't the point. The point, of course, is believing that he's there.'' Smooth, with a gently impressionistic touch--like easy- listening radio for anglers. (Line illustrations--some seen)

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09811-1
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1993


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