What’s So Great About Fly-Fishing? An A to Z Guide

Loyola University, New Orleans

Christopher Schaberg is Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans and the author of nine books, including several on air travel and environmental literature. His latest book is Fly-Fishing.



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From Hemingway’s Nick Adams and Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America, to A River Runs Through It and Brad Pitt wading the Blackfoot River on the big screen, fly-fishing holds a mythical place in the American cultural imagination. What’s so great about this sport? It’s a maddening thing to learn, much less to master. (It’s expensive, and arguably snobby, too.) But if we break it down, we might find that the practice and allure of fly-fishing is understandable, and even accessible. From the Art of casting to the Zen aspects of fly-fishing, Christopher Schaberg will take us through the ins and outs of this famously captivating, if often abstruse, activity.


Recommended Reading:

Simple Fly Fishing, Yvon Chouinard

The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water, Chris Dombrowski

The Unreasonable Virtue of Fly Fishing, Mark Kurlansky

Northern Waters, Jan Zita Grover


Discussion Questions:

1. What lifestyles do you associate with fly-fishing?

2. Where do you recall seeing images of fly-fishing in popular culture?

3. How does fly-fishing relate to environmentalism and ecological responsibility?

4. Why is the difficulty of fly-fishing part of its allure?




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