Book Reviews

A River Runs Through It – Some Thoughful Quotes

In honor of it being spring and the beginning of fishing season I’ve re-read some of my favorite fishing passages from one of my favorite books – A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean. See if these words don’t get you ready to wet a line and land the big one.

“Poets talk about ‘spots of time,’ but it is really fishermen who experience eternity compressed into a moment. No one can tell what a spot is until suddenly the whole world is a fish and the fish is gone.”

“‘Brother,’ he said ‘you can’t catch trout in a bathtub. You like to fish in sunny, open water because you are a Scot and afraid to lose a fly if you cast into the bushes. But fish are not taking sunbaths. They are under the bushes where it is cool and safe from fishermen like you.”

“One reason Paul caught more fish than anyone else was that he had his flies in the water more than anyone else. ‘Brother,’ he would say, ‘there are no flying fish in Montana. Out here, you can’t catch fish with your flies in the air.'”

“Something within fishermen tries to make fishing into a world perfect and apart – I don’t know what it is or where, because sometimes it is in my arms and sometimes in my throat and sometimes nowhere in particular except somewhere deep. Many of us probably would be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect.”

“Every fine fisherman has a few stunts that work for him and for almost no one else.”

If you aren’t going to go out and fish soon, read The River Runs Through It, there’s more to it than some wisdom for fishermen.


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