Cole (Striper, 1978), a journalist, editor, and fishing fanatic, hauls up a splendid catch: a shimmering bucketful of essays on fin-o-philia from the rivers of Maine to the glassy flats of the Florida Keys. This narrative prances about in time, as well: Cole's earliest fishing memories come from East Hampton, Long Island, in 1939, where he learns that ""watching fish is, for me, an infallible pastime,"" and that ""fishing can change everything, life included."" Even his first French kiss, landed that same delightful summer, becomes a fish tale: ""As the blowfish in my corduroys swells to the rigidity of structural steel, I ask my own cruller of a tongue to try to catch up with the sand eel swimming in my month."" Fishing is living, a creed worth spreading everywhere--in Iceland, where Cole goes after giant salmon; in the Maine Senate Chamber, where he gets a lesson in fly casting; in Alaska, the Marquesas, New Brunswick. Of course, fishing means fisherman, and Cole also paints some pleasant miniatures of his fellow fans, from the turbaned Pritam Singh, a wealthy American Sikh real-estate developer, to Cole's son Marshall, who at the age of three catches a snapper and takes it to bed with him. Funny, friendly, as lively as a hooked tarpon; a prize specimen.