LITTLE RIVERS by Margot Page


Tales of a Woman Angler
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 A rare woman in male-dominated waters, Page, editor of The American Fly Fisher, is more interested in ``the light on the water'' than on the size of fish, in ``inspiration, not data.'' Although she was a latecomer to the fishing mania, Page's essays show that her eventual infection was inevitable, given her family heritage and her marriage to Tom Rosenbauer (The Orvis Fly- Fishing Guide, not reviewed). The granddaughter of Sparse Grey Hackle (a.k.a. Alfred Waterbury Miller), who wrote Fishless Days, Angling Nights (1971), she grew up around fishing but, unlike the boys, was not encouraged to participate. The family passion did, though, land her a job with Nick Lyons's New York publishing firm, whose daily concerns focused on angling (Lyons provides this volume's foreword). In 1984, promised a canoe ride in Vermont by Rosenbauer, Page finally tried her hand at casting and became hooked. Her first casts, she writes, ``are better forgotten,'' but she vividly, if minimalistically, recalls her first trout: ``A silvery little fish, and it was wee.'' These essays find Page fishing in Vermont's Battenkill River, off a small island near Cape Cod, and in Montana, where she's astonished to find trout in the Missouri River ``in grouped a herd of porpoises leaping against the current.'' But it's the little rivers--``the jewels of the outdoor experiments''--that most capture Page's fancy. She writes of trying to balance her career, marriage, and motherhood (she and Rosenbauer named their daughter Brooke) with a lust for wild trout. In one funny scene, a pencil-less Page, suddenly struck by literary inspiration, must negotiate a field of cow flops and electrified fences while wearing wet, sagging jeans. Deftly shifting gears in the same essay, she recounts her mother's slow death. Page adds a touch of light poetry to a genre little known for graceful writing. (12 b&w illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 1-55821-367-8
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Lyons Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1994