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 18, 2012

Book Review - Fly fishing - the sacred art

"In my family, there was no clear division between religion and fly fishing."  - Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

The quote is also the beginning of Rabbi Eric's Introduction to his background; he is a rabbi serving a congregation in Connecticut. Born and raised in St. Louis he has been on the east coast for nearly twenty years. Co-author Dr. Michael Attas is a cardiologist from Texas who, quoting the book here, "in his spare time, was ordained as an Episcopal priest and serves as guest preacher at his local congregation. He is also a professor at Baylor University where he teaches a class in medical humanities."

You might ask why would such an unlikely pair would join forces to write what they clearly see and feel are a common connection to the teachings of Christianity on Mike's part, and the connection to Judaism by Eric. The author Norman Maclean "saw no division between fly-fishing and religion." Our authors heartily agree and believe fly-fishing is "a spiritual endeavor that can enrich our lives." 

The first half of the book describes each fishing their local rivers in what they call "a circular journey that cleanses our spirits and renews our souls." The second half shares stories of fishing with friends and family and separate adventures of fishing in Argentina. Really shared experiences.

At the end of each chapter are questions and exercises intended to improve the readers fishing skills and help in spiritual growth and awareness as well. For the authors, (as well as many of us) fly fishing is about much more than catching fish.

Quoting from Eric's introduction, "Fly-fishing helps Mike and I navigate the currents of our lives, draw closer to nature, and reflect upon our own inner journeys. Sometimes out on the water we even feel a presence larger than ourselves. We pause to look at the river, the trees, and the sky, and we simply say "thank you" for the amazing gifts of our world."

If you are a fly-tyer, you will appreciate Mike's baptism into tying: "I had undergone major ankle surgery and was not able to ski one winter when I was at my Colorado home. I availed myself of this downtime to take fly-tying lessons, and found it to be one of the most profoundly spiritual disciplines I had ever experienced. It is almost a form of meditation, and once the nuances of finger and hand movements are learned, it is a journey to somewhere deep inside."

The reasons people fish are as varied as the people themselves. Have these gentlemen found the secrets of fly fishing? Is fly fishing strictly an inner journey, or an independent personal adventure? Read Fly-Fishing - the sacred art, and you will discover things you didn't know, and just perhaps, more importantly, some you did. ~ LadyFisher

Published by Skylight Paths
Woodstock, Vermont
ISBN 978-1-59473-299-7
16.99 Softcover
142 pages


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