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 - June 2, 2012


Book Review - The Great Sadness

For Fly Anglers OnLine readers who have been around for some time, Roger Stouff wears very well. Ron Eagle Elk (REE) reviewed his previous book Native Waters: A Few Moments in a Small Wooden Boat back in 2005. Roger also wrote a regular column, Native Waters for a time here as well.

I suspect you will enjoy considerably more in his new book, The Great Sadness; Indigenous Angling and the Loss of Home if you take a few minutes and read REE's previous review - it will give you some strong insight into the world of a person of "mixed bloods "or more commonly known as "half breed." Roger turned away from his ancestral ways for a time, only to follow the circle that brought him home again to the important things in life.

Part of that was the realization that much of what his tribal background had so highly valued was being lost and there was little if anything which could be done about it. It then is a very engaging story of his father's people, the Chitimacha and their connection with the land and water, and how they - and Roger - have adapted (or at least come to accept) the change which is inevitable. That doesn't mean anyone has to like it, but Roger has tried to preserve it for our understanding in The Great Sadness; Indigenous Angling and the Loss of Home.

Quoting from REE's previous review: "When Roger speaks of the things that most people would consider myth or legend, I know that they are the simple truth of a people connected to the land that supports them. Science can attempt to explain these things away, but the truth of a people that have inhabited an area for thousands of year's rings true to my ears."

Roger says, "Peopleask me, "Why do you fish? And I say I fish to get away from it all, but I think I'm lying. I think I fish because I'm seeking something. A bit of wild, silver magic I hadn't realized I was searching for until it was gone. I'm slowly learning the words again. They are not whispered by tongues, scribed on paper; rather they are enunciated by waves lapping against lake shores, by green needles rubbing each other in a spring breeze, but most of all, by quiet."

It is fine writing, some nearly lyrical. Well worth your time and money.

Published by Shadowfire Books, LLC
Author: Roger Emile Stouff
ISBN 9780615624143
19.95 Softcover, 2.99 Kindle
247 pages

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