The Fish's Eye: Essays about Angling and the Outdoors
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In The Fish's Eye: Essays about Angling and the Outdoors, Ian Frazier explores his lifelong passion for fishing, fish, and the acquatic world. He sees the angler's environment all around him-in New York's Grand Central Station, in the cement-lined pond of a city park, in a shimmering bonefish flat in the Flordia keys, in the trout streams of the Rocky Mountains. He marvels at the fishing in the turbid Ohio River by downtown Cincinatti, where a good bait for catfsh is half a White Castle french fry. The incidentals of the angling experience, the who and the where of it, interest him as much as what he catches and how. The essays (including the famous profile of master angler Jim Deren, late proprietor of New York's tackle store, the Angler's Roost) contain sharply focused observations of the American outdoors, a place filled with human alterations and detritus that somehow remains defiantly unruined. Frazier's simple love of the sport lifts him to straight -ahead angling description that are among the best contemporary writing on the subject. The Fish's Eye brings together twenty years of heartfelt, funny, and vivid essays on a timeless pursuit where so many mysteries, both human and natural, coincide.
—forget it. He’s a three-dollar bill. He’d write any kind of angling misinformation he could think of. He prostituted his sport for money. He’s not a sportsman.” —he’s an enthusiast of an extreme caliber. He won’t eat, he won’t sleep, he lives by the goddamn tides. This lends him a cloak of irresponsibility, but he is responsible—to the striped bass. He was fishing on the bridge out at Jones Beach, which is illegal, and he had just hooked a big striper when the cops came along, so he jumped over
regret that I had little interest in science or in helping him fix the car. He loved to travel, and picked remote destinations—the more remote the better. Towing a camper trailer, our family drove all over the western United States and Canada for three weeks or more every summer, camping out. By coincidence, this took me right by some of the great trout rivers I had read about in the magazines. I sat in the back of the station wagon looking out the side windows at each river we passed. In
several times—not arched and poised, as in the sporting pictures, but flapping back and forth so fast he was a blur. Line was rattling in my line guides; I was pulling it in and he was taking it out, until finally there was a big pile of line at my feet, and the fish, also, in the shallow water at my feet. He was a thirteen-inch brook trout, with a wild eye that was a circle of black set in a circle of gold. The speckles on his back reproduced the wormlike marks on the rocks on the stream bottom,
they gotta have trout fishing. The Japanese have trout fishing. Just the other day, I sold some stuff to Yasuo Yoshida, the Japanese zipper magnate. He’s probably got more tackle than I got. He’s kichi about trout fishing. Kichi—that’s Japanese for nuts.” “ … . … .” “Well, I think the Russians should open one or two of their rivers for salmon fishing, certainly. They just have to have terrific salmon fishing.” “ … . … . .” “Look at it this way—next time you’ll know.” “ … . … . .” “Whatever
the sake of experiment. Storm clouds moved in, and the afternoon light became a wintry gloom. Snow began to fall hard, hissing in the bare branches of the cottonwood trees. The river scenery—bare-rock bluffs, dark-red willows, and tawny grasses along the shore—faded like something you see as you’re falling asleep. Daryl and I waded in deeper, crossed the river, tried different spots. The water in the Bitterroot actually felt warmer than the melted snow trickling around our ears. My fly line