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, and due to that fact, may not appear weekly.

December 15th, 1997

"The Earth is Enough"
growing up in a world of Flyfishing,
Trout, & Old Men

by Harry Middleton

Published by Pruett Publishing Co. First Edition, January 1996.

The Earth is Enough by Harry Middleton is the first of his books I read. Perhaps like you, I had read excerpts from his books and articles in other places. And several friends highly recommended his work.

Since Earth is Enough I've read two more; Rivers of Memory and On the Spine of Time. I almost didn't read past the first chapter of The Earth is Enough.

The foreword of this book is written by Russ Chatham. There may be more real passion about fly fishing in this foreword than in Middleton's book. But I read on.

A metal edge of bitterness flavors what otherwise is a charming tale of a boy finding a real home, with his grandfather, uncle and crazy-as-a-fox Sioux neighbor. Fly fishing was a way of life for his adopted family. A matter as accepted as the rising sun and hard life of the mountain valleys.

What is good about this book is the way the author presents his new family. Even though he never quite figures out who they really are, the characters are people you would like to know. It may be worth reading just for that slice of America.

There are wonderful flashes that will tug at your personal recollection, some insights into stewardship of the world around us, and beautifully told battles of boy and trout.

It isn't that the author can't write - he can. It's almost like he made a conscious choice to make reading this book as difficult as possible ... at least a large portion of it. Maybe part of the problem is my dislike for people who try to profit from someone's death. Harry Middleton died of a massive heart attack in July of 1993.

Maybe I am a sucker for happy endings, maybe I like to know the good guy wins. Harry Middleton never did. ~DB

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