"He was strong and heavy in Nick's hands and he had a pleasant smell and Nick saw how dark his back was and how brilliant his spots were colored and how bright the edges of his fins were. They were white on the edge with a black line behind and then there was the lovely golden sunset color of his belly."
...Written by Ernest Hemingway in "The Last Good Country", excerpted.
My mind wanders almost every day to the thoughts of my fishing days from the past and those of my fishing days in the future. And on this day of the 27th of December, during the beginning of a real coastal snowstorm, with the snow starting to line the branches of the fir tree just outside my window, those future days seem to be getting further and further away .
However my wife's brother Mike rescued me from my winter doldrums by gifting me this marvelous book for Christmas ,
"Hemingway On Fishing"
Edited by Nick Lyons and with a forward by Jack Hemingway
Published by Scribner
As I work as an Ed Tech in the library of Mt. View High School, I recently discovered that my certification was very shortly about to expire. Searching frantically for the 3 credits needed to keep my job, I found an introductory course to literature. I'm QUITE positive that I would NOT have chosen this course if I had been on the ball and been searching for credits a year ago. And one of my WORST fears came true, Shakespeare was on the menu..it's been 40 plus years since I've read anything by The Bard. However to my pleasant surprise Hemingway was also one of our assignments. And one of our Hemingway choices was
"Big Two-Hearted River",
which is Hemingway's compilations of recollections, in the character of Nick, of fishing for trout from Northern Michigan to Europe.
I gobbled down Parts 1&2 in no time flat and quickly started to search for more Hemingway in our stacks. Of course much of Hemingway's writing has nothing to do with fishing but much of it does and this was what I was fishing for.
And brother Mike came through for me and in a big way.
Hemingway started fishing for trout early in life with bait and then with fly. Of course he is more known for his real love, fishing for big game tuna and marlin and the like. But trout fishing touches his writings frequently. And his love for it has touched me on this cold, snowy December morning.
Now, those early Spring, stream side days don't seem so far away at all. If you're like me and are day dreaming about an upcoming May evening, floating a dry fly on a moving current, this book will definitely help fill the winter's fly fishing void.
Thank you brother Mike!