A collection of great fishing stories by classic and contemporary authors—Zane Gray, Rudyard Kipling, Izaak Walton, James Prosek—broad in their reach and sweep and presenting a wide emotional range. Ranging in location from the Sierras to Afghanistan, and there is as much meditative tranquility and resonance in these tales as stories of landing (or losing) “the big one.” To be sure, there are the great stories of big fish by angling legends, but there are also stories of human connections, of challenge and pathos, of the peace, even the spirituality, that comes with being a part of nature, and the companionship, or solitude, that comes with fishing. The collection includes examples of every type of angling experience, each a classic in its own right, writing that is by turns whimsical, instructional and sometimes heartbreaking. Most species are represented, and not always in the usual places: trout fishing in Africa, salmon fishing in Iceland, carp in California, spring walleyes in Minnesota, and even killer sharks on the screen.
To write about fishing, like nature and travel, seems to tease the best out of the best writers. That they are typically passionate about the subject helps, but the trio of genres also deal with solitude, challenging conditions, patience, inclement weather, introspection, and nature’s occasional brutality. Fishing, in fact, is incidental to a few of the better stories in Taut Lines, but anglers will feel closer to their sport than ever.
—Matt Sutherland, Foreword Reviews