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.

May 13, 2002

Fishing Passion

By Jim C. Chapralis
Published by Angling Matters Press

Reviewed by Deanna Birkholm

Have you noticed the huge variation in writing styles, especially in the fly fishing books written by men? Some are very dry and scholarly, some very laid back (too much so in fact) and some set your teeth on edge.

Fishing Passion is none of those. It is however, a true adventure in life. The author Jim C. Chapralis does not record this as a biography, but instead sub-titles his book "a lifelong love affair with angling." Indeed it is.

His introduction to fishing came while a boy in Greece reading a story about two kids who fished nearly every day at a river in Northern Greece. They wanted to catch a legendary trout that lived in these waters. He was six or seven at the time, and he says, "somehow, I was hooked on fishing."

His introduction to casting and fly fishing served him well, he even entered and won an international distance casting championship in Paris while serving in the Army. That opened doors to set up facilities for our servicemen in Europe where they could fish. When he returned he started a rod manufacturing business, which though promising became a nightmare of problems.

Eventually he found a niche where he could fish and develop a successful travel business. Those stories, the places, people, problems, and the solutions make this a passionate story about life. Fishing just happened to be the beginning, middle and end.

Jim divides his book into six sections, which show the parallel between romantic love and addicted angling. (The passion of course.) There are: The innocent years, Early Flirtations, Flings and infatuations, Lifelong commitments, Feelings, emotions & relationships, and Regrets, hope and dreams. The Dedication is a delight in itself - he lists all the major fish by name and says, "and all the other wonderful species of fish, for the countless hours of pleasure (and frustration) they've provided us, and if it were not for them, our wonderful world of angling would not exist."

Fly fishing does tend to run over into our everyday lives - but for a lucky few, it becomes their lives. Jim C. Chapralis is one of the lucky ones. He was able to chase some wonderful dreams and have them materialize. Having spent a lifetime traveling to fishy places he also knows where the dangers lie for the resource. He also has a vision for the future.

There are plenty of adventures in Fishing Passion, some nearly unbelievable - but they are true. Jim takes you to Angola in search of giant tarpon (and the most unusually "outdoor beer garden" found anywhere); to Panama where he and friends are held at bay by a dozen guns; to Columbia where witch doctors practice their medicine on injured anglers; and his favorite Wisconsin streams only a few hours drive from his home.

Fishing Passion is a great read, well written, (without being overly descriptive), each character and place come alive. It is truly an exciting, passionate book about living ones dream. ~ DLB

Fishing Passion
368 pages
6.25" x 9.25"
Hardcover $24.95 US
Published by AnglingMatters Press
P.O. Box 4938
Skookie, IL 60076-4938
ISBN: 09708653-3-3

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