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.

November 27th, 2000

The Fly Fisher's Guide to

by Seth Norman
Published by The Lyons Press

I have to be perfectly honest. Hard for a fly fisher, much less a woman.

This is the first of Seth Norman's work I have read. The whole title is The Fly Fisher's Guide to Crimes of Passion. It's just out, published by Lyons Press.

Crimes of Passion

There is a wild assortment of twenty-five stories. Some funny, some sad, all very well written. Author Norman's style is easy to read, flows like the rivers he wades, and are intended to not just be entertaining but to reach the reader at gut level. There seems to be an underlying intention to have his readers not just partake of his adventures (and they are) but to get inside the readers head. The relevance of that will be found by reading the book!

Author Seth Norman Seth Norman, it turns out, spent some time in Malaysia in the Peace Corp. His travels, fishing as he went, prepared him for a variety of expeditions which include a wide variety of friends and enemies.

His views and opinions may not be those of the fly fishing masses - and I suspect he didn't write this for them. He wrote Crimes of Passion for us. The ordinary fly anglers whose triumphs are winning battles of their own devise. A particularly well-designed or tied fly, a favorite place, a method one learned on their own. An affinity for special old rods and the people who made them.

The dust cover says, "Tilting at an endless procession of windmills, Seth Norman is the Don Quixote of fly fishing . . ." Windmills? Hardly. The faults he finds within the fishing community are real. We all have seen them. Seth simply puts names on them so we all can recognize who and what the culprits are.

I have to mention an especially juicy story, probably true, about some devious fishing for very large fish in a very public park. All illegally of course. I wonder how many others have spotted those fish and done a little mental larceny. I did when I saw them.

Now, about the other fishing parts. And there are lots of them. They are wonderfully written. I especially enjoyed reading about something I've personally never done - surf casting for Rooster Fish. What a blast. Wish I had been there.

Fly fishing is about thinking, so is Crimes of Passion.

I didn't want it to end. ~ Deanna Birkholm

The Fly Fisher's Guide to CRIMES OF PASSION
$24.95 U.S. 240 pages
ISBN 1-58574-135-3
Published by The Lyons Press.

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