Book: Headwaters

Headwaters book

I used to say, once you’ve read one book about fly fishing, you’ve read them all. Well, Dylan Tomine has proven me wrong, with an original collection of stories revolving around his personal evolution from a fish-lusting fanatic to a staunch conservationist. In Headwaters (Patagonia, $28), Tomine makes candid reflections on his worldwide travels in pursuit of hard-fighting steelhead and salmon. There’s no attempt at the romanticism that runs rampant through the existing fishing canon; no declarations of divinely dictated higher purpose. Instead, Tomine analyzes his experiences at face value, coming to realize that a widespread obsession with hooking huge fish is leading to the demise of his most cherished fisheries. It’s a relevant paradox to any avid outdoorsman—in order to preserve the places we love, we must exercise restraint. But that’s easier said than done. Tomine’s dry sense of humor and bashful remarks on fishing culture lighten the mood of his gloomy projections. And through sharing the sport with his daughter, he discovers a new perspective on a lifelong passion.