Liar's Code: Growing Up Fishing

Liar's Code: Growing Up Fishing

by Richard Chiappone


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Warm, funny, and memorable musings on a life spent fishing.

With this eclectic collection of personal essays taking him from his childhood haunts along the industrial Niagara River of the 1960s to Alaska and the saltwater flats of the Caribbean, Richard Chiappone elongates the fishing-writing genre, suggesting that he finds almost anything a fisherman does interesting—anything but the actual fishing.

In one piece, he gets no farther than the curb outside his upstate New York childhood home, futilely waiting for his ride to the rivers of his dreams. In another account he describes an afternoon, standing in a midwinter snow bank, casting to house cats. With humor and self-skewering wit, Chiappone admits he can’t cast very well, ties some of the ugliest flies in the world, and spent nineteen years of his life trying to catch a permit.

The essays, both funny and touching, reveal him as a writer of stark contradictions: a man who despises winter and loves living in Alaska; who laments having spent half his life just downstream from the infamous Love Canal, and simultaneously remembers those years with elegiac fondness. Lifting his gaze past the tip of his fly rod, and beyond the river and the fish all the way into his own heart, he portrays everything from a sentimental memory of his mother to his doubts about the adequacy of his grief over a dead daughter, making this compilation a kind of memoir in linked essays—a fisherman’s life examined.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510704947
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Richard Chiappone, a two-time recipient of the Robert Traver Award, is the author of the story collection Water of an Undetermined Depth. His writing has appeared in anthologies and national publications including Playboy, the Sun, and Gray’s Sporting Journal. One of his stories was made into an award-winning short film, another has been featured on BBC Radio. He teaches writing in the University of Alaska Anchorage Master of Fine Arts Program and serves on the faculty of the annual Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference in the town of Homer, Alaska, where he lives with his wife and cats.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Part I All You Need is Love Canal 1

1 Liar's Code 3

2 The Blue Pike Blues 11

3 This Boy's Bait 18

4 Perfect: A Fly Tier's Beginnings 29

5 The King and I 39

Part II Into the Woods 47

6 Oblivious 49

7 Egg-Sucking Everything 62

8 The Last Fish 69

9 It Takes a Thief 89

10 The Killing Season 98

11 Requiem for a River Bend 111

12 The Winter Face 120

Part III If You Will Permit 129

13 Anything but Mercy 131

14 Adios, Señor Permit 142

15 The Man Who Mistook His Vacation for a Fishing Trip 155

16 The Trevally Ripped Our Flesh! 176

17 Slamming Cuba 184

18 The Angler in Winter 194

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