Beating the heat with books

This summer was hot, hot, hot. While I did manage to get in a couple of pretty good days casting to some nice cutthroat trout

This summer was hot, hot, hot.

While I did manage to get in a couple of pretty good days casting to some nice cutthroat trout on the St. Mary River in the East Kootenay, I’d still have to say my days on the water were all to short – not to mention the fact that fishing was banned during the later part of August due to the warm weather. That’s life.

So I did what I often do when I can’t go fishing. I read a book about other people’s fishing experiences.

Roderick L. Haig-Brown has always been one of my favorite angling authors. He was a fly fisherman, a magistrate, radio broadcaster, university chancellor and conservationist who lived in Campbell River. He was also a prolific writer. The Seasons of a Fisherman is a marvelous collection of his four classic “seasons” books: Fisherman’s Spring (1951), Fisherman’s Winter (1954), Fisherman’s Summer (1959) and Fisherman’s Fall (1964), all compiled together for the first time in one single volume.

This book is far more than just a book about fishing and the trappings and traditions that go along with the sport of fly-fishing. I have read and reread all four of the books many times. Each page draws me back to a simpler time, to an era when fishing was not so high tech and time spent casting a line was, well, more about communing with nature and breathing in the peace and tranquility that comes with standing on the banks of a river. In my mind, I have stood alongside Haig-Brown and watched as the early morning mist rose from the water. Together we have waited for life to explode on the other end of our lines. While I may not have ever met Haig-Brown, in a way I have come to consider him a sort of fishing partner, standing just upstream.

B.C. writer, angling historian and steelheader Art Lingren, whom I have met, wrote a book some years back about Haig-Brown. He not only signed my copy, he returned it to me with all nine of Haig-Brown’s fly patterns (tied by Lingren) adorning the pages where he talks about each pattern. Pretty cool. And while I may not get to go steelheading all that often, I have lived vicariously through the “fishing journals” written by Lingren. The Dean River Steelhead Journal, Kispiox River Journal and Thompson River Journal all highlight the spectacular steelhead fishing to be found in our province. All three books trace the fly-fishing history of their specific waters, as well as offer a wealth of information on when, where and how to fly fish for the “fish of a thousand casts.”

Dave Stewart is another one of those writers whose works I have read many times.

I knew and respected Stewart. His writing style certainly influenced my own. The Last Cast is, as Dave always put it, a collection of adventures and misadventures. It is, in actual fact, a collection of heartwarming and humorous excerpts from his famous Last Cast column, which appeared for some 50 years on the last page of BC Outdoors magazine. I was an avid reader of Stewart’s column long before I met and got to know him. I can still hear his voice when I read his words. And I still get a chuckle out of all the predicaments that he managed to get himself into over the course of a lifetime.

Maybe it’s time I got to work on my own book. Actually, it is already in progress. It’s going to be a collection of my short stories. I already have a title and the artwork for the cover. It’s going to be entitled, Time On The Waters and, with a bit of luck and determination, it will be out in the  spring. It’s all pretty exciting.

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plan in works to keep Salmon Arm’s homeless people warm in extreme weather

Advocate aims higher, wants a 24/7 friendship centre operating in city

CSRD’s plan to create economic development society meets resistance

Electoral Area E director wants to withdraw area from the proposal

A Salmon Arm mortgage investment corporation faces BC Securities hearing

Securities commission alleges misrepresentations and false or misleading statements in documents

Salmon Arm prepares for Rogers Hometown Hockey

Businesses and residents encouraged to wear jerseys, show their hockey spirit

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Most Read