I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my day job has been keeping me pretty busy lately. I have spent far too much time on planes and in hotels and not nearly enough time fishing. One good thing has come of all my business travel, I am managing to get somewhat caught up on my reading. It was on one of these recent trips that I dove headlong into outdoor writer Randy Kadish's book "The Fly Caster Who Tried to Make Peace With the World."
I wasn't sure what to think when I picked up my copy of the book and realized that this was a novel, set in the early 1900's, about a young man who aspired to be a long distance fly caster. I must admit at first glance the concept didn't really speak to me. I am not big on novels and I couldn't see how someone could write an entertaining one about fly casting. However, once inside the book what I found was an engaging tale of a young man coming of age in an era marred by the cruelty of World War I. All the while dealing with his own personal choices, tragedies and successes.
The author uses fly fishing on the Beaverkill River along with competitive long distance casting as the thread that leads us as we follow the book's main character, Ian Mac Bride, from boyhood through adulthood. Along the way Ian meets up with several fellow anglers some famous (Theodore Gordon and George M. L. La Branche) and some not so famous, with all being factors in his quest to make peace with the world.
The story is well told and has just the right mix of fly fishing prose and philosophy to make the point without one getting in the way of the other. A hidden gem in the book is found in the appendix in the form of a primer on long distance casting under the by line of the book's main character, Ian Mac Bride. Anglers who are looking to be entertained with a good read while getting real world casting tips should consider this book.
The Fly Caster Who Tried to Make Peace With The World is available from Keokeebooks.com. It is published by Saw Mill River Press, 255 pages, ISBN 1-879628-26-0. It is also available via Amazon.com