Crosscurrents: A Fly Fisher's Progress

Overview

Jim Babb is one of the most eccentric and riveting new voices to be heard in the world of fly fishing in many years. From his early days growing up in a small East Tennessee town to his migration through Brahmin Boston to the backwoods of Maine (where he built his own house, by hand), Babb's story is as unique as it is brilliantly told. He explores his first fly rods in "Blue Collar Cane"; his early use of the wet fly; and the expeditions he made for bream. Always, he fly fishes with a maverick genius, building a...
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Overview

Jim Babb is one of the most eccentric and riveting new voices to be heard in the world of fly fishing in many years. From his early days growing up in a small East Tennessee town to his migration through Brahmin Boston to the backwoods of Maine (where he built his own house, by hand), Babb's story is as unique as it is brilliantly told. He explores his first fly rods in "Blue Collar Cane"; his early use of the wet fly; and the expeditions he made for bream. Always, he fly fishes with a maverick genius, building a way of seeing and experiencing the world of fly fishing that is all his own, and that carries him from the ponds of Maine to great fly-fishing opportunities throughout the world as editor of Gray's Sporting Journal. (5 1/2 x 8 1/4, 224 pages)
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Every few years one wonders if the fountain of talented essayists on fly-fishing is running dry. Then someone like Babb (editor of Gray's Sporting Journal since 1997) comes along. In this outstanding first book, his writing is literary and without pretense, mixing Thoreau and Poe with Dilbert and Zane Grey. His essays echo the work of well-known fly-fishing author John Gierach (Standing in a River Waving a Stick, LJ 2/1/99). Both are fine writers with wonderfully wry senses of humor to complement their talent for character development, observation, and description. A native of Tennessee now living in Maine, Babb writes of his Southern upbringing, setting down roots in the Maine woods, and his travels to exotic fly-fishing destinations. Included among these is a wonderful tale in which he sings 1960s television show theme songs on a guided trip down an unfished Canadian river. The best fly-fishing book of the year; for all libraries.--Jeff Grossman, Milwaukee Area Technical Coll. Lib., Oak Creek, WI Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A fireside collection of fly-fishing pieces, touched with–but not drowned in–folksy wisdom and whimsy, from Gray's Sporting Journal editor and columnist Babb. These short essays are divided into two groups: those inspired by Babb's youth in, and return visits to, East Tennessee, and those that find him fishing here and there around the world, mostly in his current home state of Maine. A fly-fishing fool, Babb tries to make much of the clash between his roots, where the inhabitants have been characterized as "crude, kindly, ignorant, and murderous," and the rarefied history of East Coast fly-fishing. But his pose as a homeboy from the Land of Goober often grates, as too many years in Massachusetts and Maine have spiffed up his persona. Not that he doesn't hit upon some heavy truths in fishing–"we found that the best signs of all said DANGER. KEEP OUT. NO TRESPASSING"–and in life–"the most chilling words you can hear south of Mason and Dixon's line: `Whut're yew lookin' at?"' By the time he gets to the Maine pieces, Babb has lost his faux twang and the stories feel shorn, immediate, and tactile. There is a terrific brief catalog of months describing his first year in Maine and much fond quoting of Thoreau's rhapsodies on the state. And there are the simple joys of the fly fisherman: a trip to hell in the far north country, searching for bamboo rods in yard sales, watching stunned as a false albacore makes his reel melt down. His humor, though, needs help. It can be enjoyably goofy ("I don't see anything at all eccentric about bass-bugging with a Spey rod," yet often plain stupid ("Soon we'll see Mick Jagger pimping for denture adhesives, a laxative commercial backed by `ICan't Get No Satisfaction"'). But there are pleasures ample enough here, conveyed with an infectious love of the sport.
From the Publisher

"The best fly-fishing book of the year." --Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585744947
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2002
  • Edition description: First edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.65 (d)

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