The legend of a fantastic insect that can cause fish of unfathomable
size to rise leads a former UPS reporter from the trout streams of
Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Brezhnev's Soviet Union, a
poisonous Canadian uranium mine, and the jungles of Vietnam.
Along the way he must fend off renegade mountain men, a mysterious
childhood sweetheart (who isn't what she seems), the KGB, and a
macho world-famous author. The world's of espionage and fly
fishing collide in The Snowfly, by author Joseph Heywood.
The book follows reporter Bowie Rhodes as he traces the legend
of the snowfly, a gigantic insect that hatches only once a decade - never
on the same river twice - and will lure monstrous trout into a feeding
frenzy. He first hears of the snowfly while a boy in Michigan, and is
sure it is only a myth - until discovers a manscript in the highlands
of Vietnam: The Legend of the Snowfly by M.J. Key.
The manuscript is lost in the 1968 Tet Offensive but Rhodes quest
has just begun.
At every turning point in Rhodes' life, the snowfly resurfaces - is he
hunting for the fly or is someone using the fly to catch him? On
assignment in the pre-collapse Soviet Union, his hunt for another
copy of the manuscript nearly kills him. The quest follows Bowie
into a radioactive wasteland of old uranium mines, to a drawing room
in Cornwall, the mean streets of New York City, and finally back
where it all began in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
According to the author Joseph Heywood, "The legend tells us that
the fly is unusually large, the size of a human hand, which makes it a
whale in insect terms. They hatch in the cold weather months only
once every seven to ten years and only once on a river. The term
snowfly is sometimes used out West to refer to tiny midges that
hatch in winter, but the snowfly of the novel is a different species
When asked what drew the author (who is known for writing novels
of military intrigue) to writing about fly fishing in The Snowfly
he responded, "I write stories of pursuit, of hunters chasing the
unchaseable, and certainly The Snowfly fits this
categorization. Essentially trout fishing is a hunt that requires the
angler to solve a number of mysteries in order to capture fish.
Fishing in The Snowfly is a metaphor for where
unchecked curiosity can lead us."
The many fishing segments are artfully written - almost a primer on
how - and where - to catch the big ones. The author not only writes
one heck of a book - he's no slouch on fishing either. (Read an
The characters are real (I think I've met some of them) and the places
and descriptions very believable without being wordy. The book
really moves along!
Be prepared - The Snowfly will get you. It has everything,
sex (not gratuitous - after all fly fishermen are gentlemen), intrigue,
danger, fly fishing, and the PERFECT trout fly. If Snowfly
becomes a movie, it will blast A River Run Through It out
of the water.
Joseph Heywood is also the author of The Berkut, Taxi Dancer,
and The Domino Conspiracy. ~ DLB
416 pages, 6" x 9"
Hard Cover: $24.95 US
Published by The Lyons Press.