- The Greatest Fishing Stories Ever Told Twenty Eight Unforgetable Fishing Tales
Read on as some of the sport's most talented writers recount their personal memories of catching bass, trout, bluefish marlin, tuna, and more. You'll read about all kinds of fish, and all kinds of fishermen in these pages. Explore the Pacific with Zane Grey, as he fights a 1,000-pound blue marlin, or listen as A.J. McClane explains just what it really means to be an angler. Take a step back in time when you read Ernie Schwiebert's tale of fishing a remote lake in Michigan, when he was still only a young boy. Each of these stories, selected because of its intrinsic literary worth, reinforces the unique personal connection that fishing creates between man and nature.
There's always a risk involved whenever the promise of "greatest" is dropped into a title. Simply "great" or just "outstanding" won't cut it when the superlative is the target being cast to. Given that this is a collection of fish tales both fictional and factual, a little truth-stretching wouldn't be unexpected, but veteran outdoors editor Lamar Underwood will have none of that; he tries to wriggle off the hook anyway, admitting his choices won't always match expectations. He didn't need to. His collection of 28 stories, covering fishing in its various forms, more than delivers on the titular pledge of utmost excellence.
Just look at the contributors. Some, like A.J. McClane, John Gierach, Robert Traver, Roderick L. Haig-Brown, Nick Lyons, Ernest Schweibert, and Philip Wylie are firmly mounted in the pantheon of angling lit, while others--Hemingway, Thomas McGuane, Patrick O'Brian, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and Zane Grey--are acknowledged trophy scribes. Their range--both as writers and anglers--is superb, and if the pieces aren't necessarily the writer's most famous or best, they are certainly, as a group, representative, beautifully written, and diverse in their approach. Not surprisingly, it's British Columbia's Renaissance man, Haig-Brown, who reels in the line of the book. In his tantalizing opening to "Sachem River," Haig-Brown captures the allure of great angling writing in a single sentence: "I have told this story before in different ways, but it is the best fishing story I know and it touches one of the loveliest rivers I know." Like every selection in The Greatest Fishing Stories Ever Told, it invites you to sit by the fire, coaxing you to read on as it thoroughly hooks you with its literary charms. --Jeff Silverman