Veteran fly fisherman Mark Hume (Trout School: Lessons from a Fly-Fishing Master) charts his intertwined journeys of fishing and fatherhood in the lyrical, thoughtful Reading the Water. Hume has fished avidly since his boyhood in British Columbia. A self-taught fisherman, he knew he wanted to pass on the lore and love of fly fishing to his two daughters, Emma and Claire.
Hume's narrative captures the beauty of the rivers and streams he fished as a boy: "I had begun to calibrate my life in relation to my access to water." He chronicles his family's many moves; his eventual career in big-city journalism; falling in love with his wife, Maggie; and the arrival of the two babies who grew to be his fishing companions. In chapters with names like "Fly Tying Spells" and "Catch and Release," Hume explores the mystical and mundane aspects of fishing: the frustration of waiting in the rain for a catch that never comes and the occasional transcendent moment of connection with the universe through a fish.
Both of Hume's daughters took to fishing as children. Hume writes about teaching them to tie flies and cast and to catch, release and sometimes kill fish. He teaches them about "the interlacing of life and death," shows them hidden streams in the forests and hopes that their connection to the earth will endure long after they leave home. Reading the Water urges readers to appreciate the wild places around them and to work to preserve the beauty and diversity of rivers and the animals that inhabit them. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams