Synopses & Reviews
There was a time that I didn't fish, writes Ted Leeson in his introduction to this stunning first book, 'but I cannot remember it. Thirty-five years ago I toddled off to Turtle Creek with a cane pole and worms and returned with a six-inch smallmouth and a monkey on my back. I ate the bass and have been feeding the monkey ever since.' With wry humor and rare insight, The Habit of Rivers tells the story of Leeson's passion for rivers, trout, and fly fishing, and his experiences as a newcomer to the Pacific Northwest - 'the land of unceasing seasons' - he looks beneath the surface of fly fishing to explore questions that engage most fishermen: 'What is the strange gravity of a trout stream? What is it about rivers that draws us so irresistibly, and why does fly fishing seem such an aptly suited response?' Above all, The Habit of Rivers is a book about ways of seeing the wonderfully textured world that emanates from a river. 'Despite its reliance on the line,' Leeson writes, 'fly fishing is not linear. It is radial and weblike. At the center is a rising trout, and millimeters above his nose is the fly. From it, paths trace outward . . . just as far as you wish to go.' In pursuing these paths, Leeson finds everything from salmon, steelhead, and trout, to driftboats, art, insects, gravity, death, philosophy, books, fly tying, and microbreweries - and links them together with an intelligence that is provocative, witty, and illuminating. What emerges is a brilliantly original book about a certain vision of fishing, and fishing as a certain habit of vision, about seasons as spaces and landscapes as times, about rivers that express interior geographies as much as exterior ones. The Habit of Rivers begins with a deep respect for trout and trout streams, and ends in wisdom earned by hard and faithful attention to the natural world. (6 1/4 X 9 1/4, 196 pages)
The story of a passion for rivers, trout, and fly fishing, and their sustaining power.