Cold Weather Reading – “Body of Water”

Below 10 degrees for the next couple of days. No fishing for sane folks, but great weather for expanding your mind with a good book. While it may appear that real books are doomed, I still prefer to grab a beat-up, chunky book instead of my slippery iPad, especially if I want to do some heavy reading. We will assume that if you’re reading this post, you’re interested in angling literature.

When I was younger, I read nearly every book that pertained to fly fishing I could get my hands on. This included everything from “The River Why” by David James Duncan, to “Dyeing and Bleaching Natural Fly-Tying Materials” by A.K. Best. I think I’ve read every single book by my favorite, Roderick Haig-Brown. Then one day years ago I just stopped. Too much reading on one subject, and a subject I lived every day of my life. While I obviously keep up with fly fishing articles via blogs and other digital sources, I haven’t sat down to read a book that has anything to do with the sport in years.

Recently, our friend and fellow Montana Fly Fishing guide Chris Dombrowski asked if I’d like to read his new book “Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World’s Most Alluring Fish”. Now there’s no new fire in me to read more about fly fishing, but Chris is a sort-of-local, swings by the shop when he’s over the hill from Missoula, and I know he is an excellent writer (he’s a poet in the off-season). His recent article “The Gospel According to Jim” – about the legendary Jim Harrison – was beautifully written and highly praised.

I’m not going to do a book review here. That’s not what I do. But I will tell you this. The subject of this book revolves around Bonefishing in the Bahamas. It’s not a subject I’m particularly interested in, and at face value it actually sounds pretty boring to me. It’s also about fishing guides, and as I approach my 30th year as a guide myself, I should probably read a book with “self-improvement” or “fiscal responsibility” in the title. Not a book about an old fly fishing guide that has been cast aside for new blood. It’s unlikely I would have read this book if I didn’t know Chris. I’m glad I do.

It’s a great book.

The writing is beyond what you will find in most books on the subject or fishing. Great writing and unique style keeps me glued to a book, and I polished this off in a couple of days. I’ve read few stories that had so much fly fishing in them, yet were not really about fly fishing. If you fish the Bahamas, you’ll love some of the history that Chris lays out in Body of Water, as well as the characters that developed it. But you don’t need to have any knowledge about the Bahamas or love for Bonefishing (or fly fishing for that matter) to enjoy this book. Anyone who gets excited when a fish tugs on the line will enjoy this book.

I highly recommend it and you can read plenty of praise at the Milkweed Editions page. Definitely a “must read”.

Nice work CD…

Body of Water, Dombrowski, reading
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1 Comment.

  • Love your website for it always is enjoyable to read and widens the horizon.
    The “Gospel According To Jim” was a great read and now I have more to research with Jim Harrison. Thanks

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