FULL CREEL by Nick Lyons


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A lifetime of fishing adventures and reflections is encapsulated in one enjoyable volume.

For over 30 years, former English professor Lyons has endeared himself to readers by becoming, according to a couple of fishermen in one story, the spokesperson “for the poor guy who sits in his office all year dreaming, gets out only two weeks a year, and then bungles everything.” Here he offers the best of these essays, from 1970 through 1999. With humor, humility, an astute eye, and a wonderful skill for weaving tales, Lyons tries to explain his addiction to the sport and to the thrill that the river, with all its possibilities, always gives him despite the fact that his adventures often become mishaps. His anecdotes reveal a fisherman’s passion for making a catch, the pride of watching one’s son pull in a brookie, the compromises one makes with one’s spouse, and the extent that one will go in order enjoy just an hour of fishing. A New Yorker, Lyons’s actual journeys to fish (mostly by car) often became their own adventures, whether it be the frustration of getting lost or the quiet joy of coming upon an old country hardware store in the Catskills. In 1970, he was a man with a young family; by 1999, he is a grandfather marveling at his granddaughter’s inquisitive nature. The excited young boy who once had his grandmother help him get on all his fishing gear has become the aging fly fisher, ruminating about a lifelong love and a lifetime of memories.

Fishing addicts and non-fishing enthusiasts will feel the ever-possible pull at the end of the line, and revel in all of Lyons’s nontechnical and passionate “fish talk.”

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-87113-813-1
Page count: 528pp
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2000


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