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The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass: A Flyrodder's Odyssey at Montauk Point

Overview

While fishing off Montauk Point in the autumn, Peter Kaminsky watched the moon rise and as it did, an acre of silver-sided striped bass came to the surface of the sea. Acting on the advice of another angler, Zane Grey, who said "Some dreams, even those of a fisherman, come true," the author took a month off from harried city life and flyfished every day in the midst of the world's greatest wildlife migration: the parade of fish and whales, butterflies and birds past Montauk ...

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Overview

While fishing off Montauk Point in the autumn, Peter Kaminsky watched the moon rise and as it did, an acre of silver-sided striped bass came to the surface of the sea. Acting on the advice of another angler, Zane Grey, who said "Some dreams, even those of a fisherman, come true," the author took a month off from harried city life and flyfished every day in the midst of the world's greatest wildlife migration: the parade of fish and whales, butterflies and birds past Montauk Point.

This is the story of a man's love affair with Montauk in the fall, after the crowds and celebrities have left eastern Long Island. It is the story of an ocean teeming with life, and the people drawn to it: obsessed anglers, jealous guides, dedicated scientists, and the local people who have lived off the bounty of these waters for generations. But above all it is a story of a man's basic love of people and nature, one that will appeal to the many fans of Kaminsky's "Outdoors" column in the New York Times, and his frequent work in Food & Wine, as well as anyone hungering for fine writing.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
An exchange occurs at summer's end in eastern Long Island: an exodus of tourists, an entrance of serious anglers. The enormous migration of marine life in late September and October (birds aren't the only ones heading south for the winter) brings salt-water fly-fishers like author Peter Kaminsky to Montauk Point. In The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass, Kaminsky reminisces about a glorious October at Montauk Point, with bass blitzes by day and haute cuisine by night.

Kaminsky, a New York Times columnist who writes for both Field & Stream and Food & Wine magazines, skimps neither on the fishing details nor on the meals. Between nuanced explanations of fly-casting technique for salt-water as opposed to freshwater fishing, Kaminsky teases us with blasé asides on what he is eating: one night pan-roasted bass fillet with a sauce of tarragon, green peppercorns, honey, lemon juice, and salt (devoured with two bottles of wine); other nights flaked bluefish with lemon and vinegar; arroz con pollo; assorted juicy meats, onions, and garlic.

The fishing scene itself is as you might expect: serious, often cantankerous anglers and fishing guides; long droughts interrupted by a sudden exhilarating "bass blitz" or "albacore fix"; and alternately sound and sketchy theories on optimal bait and fish location. As is often the case with those gone fishing, there is a resounding sense there is no place on earth the anglers would rather be. Except, perhaps, at the dinner table. (Brenn Jones)

Pat Conroy
. . . makes flyfishing sound like a form of sanctifying grace . . . his writing style is lyrical and as lovely as his sport.
Kurt Andersen
I know of no wiser, more useful and convincing celebration of the great virtues of making time for pleasure . . .
Tom Brokaw
Peter Kaminsky's passion . . . is so great I half expect him to have his waders and fly rod surgically attached.
People Magazine
For those who love to fish, this may do for Montauk what Peter Mayle did for Provence.
Publishers Weekly
The East Coast migratory striped bass has the same trans-species attachment with Long Islanders as the blue crab does with the Chesapeake region, and the cod with New Englanders; striper fishing is nowhere more exciting, or more socially complicated, than in early fall off Montauk, New York. After the summer tide of celebrities and vacationers leaves the beaches, local sportfishers form their own society around the parade of southbound migrations. Not the average "hook and bullet" reporter, Kaminsky took a sabbatical from his New York Times column to fly-fish Montauk Point through the October peak, lured by the life fantasy of one dream fly-fishing season, an angling "walkabout into something perfect and outside of time." The tides of his obsession with the fish in this place occasionally carry him way offshore into social history, local color and ecology of the bass. The real prose action is on the shallow flats of Great Peconic Bay and in the jockeying among guide boats and surf casters for prime casting positions for "blitzes" of feeding 40-inch bass. Kaminsky (whose cookbook, Elements of Taste, is due out from Little, Brown in October) is neither the first nor the most stylish voice for this fish and this place (the Montauk bass fishery has its own shelf in angling literature, which includes John Cole's Striper and Peter Matthiessen's Men's Lives). Nonetheless, most Eastern fly rodders will revel in Kaminsky's walkabout and feel as wistful as he does when the cold northeast winds finally put down the fish in November. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786867691
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/5/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 902,495
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Kaminsky is the author of numerous books, including The Moon Pulled Up an Acre of Bass, Pig Perfect, and The Elements of Taste. He was formerly New York magazine's "Underground Gourmet," and his Outdoors column runs regularly in the New York Times. His work has appeared frequently in Food & Wine and Field & Stream, and he was managing editor of National Lampoon. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2001

    A Saltwater Fly Must Read

    Informative, humorous, entertaining for anyone who has tried fishing for Striped Bass on a fly rod, and not necessarily just in the Montauk/Gardiners' Bay waters. Clever combination of actual fishing experiences and a primer on the culture of fly fishing on salt waters. A bit too focused on the fishing guides but this did not detract from the book very much at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2001

    Again, an outdoor writer who writes lyric prose

    You don't have to be a fisherman to enjoy the quality of writing and the images created. It is literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2001

    A great read, especially for times when you can't get out on the water...

    Although I am a 'newcomer' to saltwater flyfishing, I found Peter's descriptive style to bring life (in my mind) to the daily jaunts out in search of 'stripahs'. I know we'd all like to get out there and be in the middle of it; highly recommended, I hope I can get him to sign it for me!

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