Tuesday, May 13, 2008

HOW TO FISH in Spirituality & Health Magazine

Perhaps there are some of us who wouldn't expect to read about a new fishing book in a magazine like Spirituality & Health, but Overlook's new How to Fish by Chris Yates is not your ordinary fishing primer. Here's what Spirituality & Health has to say: "Although Chris Yates is not a patient man, 'fishing offers a dimension where, even if you don't cast very far into it, you can be free of the wiredup world and suddenly in touch with an equally complex, less concise but deeper-rooted reality.' Photographer and founder of Waterlog magazine, Yates goes down to the riverbank one autumn morning and takes us with him. Morning slides into afternoon, and Yates describes his appreciation for the shifting scene, the history of the river, and the fish. His obsession is the perch. "The perch," he says, "is as emblematic of autumn as an amber leaf, a field of mist, a russet apple or a plume of bonfire smoke. It is the colour, charm, and soul of an autumn river made fish-shaped." After that, there's a little drizzle: he wonders what it sounds like underwater and if the fish feel it. The light changes and so does the shape of the river. He casts; his quill sails downstream and vanishes. Yates spends the long day at the river, measuring time in the number of casts. Sure that he is in the presence of perch, he waits for a sign; "Perhaps this fly on my pen will lead me to it," The "it" being as much the fish and the fishing itself, for unlike football and golf, fishing is non-linear and the only rules are moral. Fishing "makes us whole again each time we give it expression," This insightful, whimsical, poetical, practical memoir and how-to guide will delight anyone who has ever fished — and anyone who has ever wondered why he does fish."

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