Individual taste in books varies as much as the favorite rod or fly. With that in mind, we hope to review books and videos from the ever-growing fly fishing world, and share them with you. Books will be the best of all worlds, new and old. Many of the old books are now available in reprint, and the wisdom contained is timely today. Others can be found in second-hand book stores, or by mail order dealers. As we find videos we feel are outstanding they will be included. Be assured, reviews are based on what we have actually read or viewed, and due to that fact, may not appear weekly.


Reviewed By Deanna Travis - January 3, 2011

Book Review - The wind knot & Dead Deceiver


In most places winter is at least in sight. Sort of puts a damper on spending too much time in waders hoping the fish haven’t frozen their fins. Even the hardiest of fly fishers figure out it might be wiser to spend their off time indoors.

Just a suggestion, but even fly tying gets old eventually. I do have a suggestion, but you expected that. Do some reading! I am not suggesting another book on how to tie flies, or even on the history of our sport, but something entirely different.

Here are a couple of ideas for you to consider. We recently received two “Review” copies of books about to publish. Both are mysteries with just enough fly fishing thrown in to let me say they have fly fishing.

The Wind Knot written by John Galligan is set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is the fourth of John’s Fly Fishing mystery series. The hero of this one is Ned “Dog” Oglivie heading home after a self-imposed exile from his home in Massachusetts following the unfortunate death of his young son. He thinks he finally has it worked out in his mind but is delayed by a misguided encounter with a drunken brother of a local politician. As Dog is ready to split town he is framed for murder. The Wind Knot ultimately is the story about true character.

The plot moves along at a rapid, engaging pace with cutting dialogue especially geared to the male ego. The UP town is similar to those described in the famous Hemingway writings. 

While not quite as twisted as Joe Haywood’s Wood’s Cops stories the writing did strike me as very reminiscent. This one may keep you up, but worth the effort.

The second book is Dead Deceiver, by Victoria Houston. The eleventh book in her Loon Lake mystery series intertwines the rich landscape of Wisconsin’s Northwoods with characters who are so real that readers truly feel like they just stepped into their living room for some old-fashioned story-telling.

It’s the middle of a raging snowstorm when Loon Lake is visited with a major homicide. A tragic story: a young woman out for her daily 5-mile snowshoe trek takes a wrong turn and ends up leaving a loving husband behind. The cast of characters is delightful and well-populated. You may have a hard time finding yourself in the midst of an International Ice Fishing Festival, but hey, why not? It’s a great story, well told.

Author Victoria Houston learned to fish at a very young age and fished every day in the summertime, she put away her fishing rod when she was 11 for her newfound interest in boys. But “seeing the light”, as she says, when she turned 50 she learned to fly fish from the world’s expert - John Wulff. Today fly fishing is her favorite pastime and she spends her summers in a hundred-year-old cabin on the lake where she grew up. Coming from a family of dentists and expert fishermen, she writes from memories of her youth - which is why her characters are so entrenched in reality.

See if you can figure it out before the last chapter.

Dead Deceiver
Victoria Houston
Tyrus Books
Available February 2011
Hardcover $24.95

The Wind Knot
John Galligan
Tyrus Books
Available March 2011
Hardcover $24.95, Paperback $14.95

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