NonFiction Book Club

The Unreasonable Virtue of Fly Fishing


Mark Kurlansky

FROM THE BOOK JACKET: Fly fishing, historian Mark Kurlansky has found, is a battle of wits, fly fisher vs. fish--and the fly fisher does not always (or often) win. The targets--salmon, trout, and char; and for some, bass, tarpon, tuna, bonefish, and even marlin--are highly intelligent, wily, strong, and athletic animals. The allure, Kurlansky learns, is that fly fishing makes catching a fish as difficult as possible. There is an art, too, in the crafting of flies. Beautiful and intricate, some are made with more than two dozen pieces of feather and fur from a wide range of animals. The cast as well is a matter of grace and rhythm, with different casts and rods yielding varying results.

Kurlansky is known for his deep dives into the history of specific subjects, from cod to oysters to salt. But he spent his boyhood days on the shore of a shallow pond. Here, where tiny fish weaved under a rocky waterfall, he first tied string to a branch, dangled a worm into the water, and unleashed his passion for fishing. Since then, a lifelong love of the sport has led him around the world to many countries, coasts, and rivers--from the wilds of Alaska to Basque country, from the Catskills in New York to Oregon's Columbia River, from Ireland and Norway to Russia and Japan. And, in true Kurlansky fashion, he absorbed every fact, detail, and anecdote along the way.

The Unreasonable Virtue of Fly Fishing marries Kurlansky's signature wide-ranging reach with a subject that has captivated him for a lifetime--combining history, craft, and personal memoir to show readers, devotees of the sport or not, the necessity of experiencing nature's balm first-hand.

INTERVIEW WITH MARK KURLANSKY | ARTSMANIAAUTHOR INFO: Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of Milk!, Havana, Paper, The Big Oyster, 1968, Salt, The Basque History of the World, Cod, and Salmon, among other titles. He has received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Bon Appétit's Food Writer of the Year Award, the James Beard Award, and the Glenfiddich Award. He lives in New York City.


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