Category Archives: Good Reads

Cleaning out the inbox V: two good reads.


the pristine Jamaica of James Bond’s creator is in danger. Overfishing has imperiled the barracuda’s habitat: Fewer algae-eating fish spurs coral die-off, and the practice of fishing with dynamite has had catastrophic effects. But over the past seven years, a former record company executive has slowly built a network of conservationists to help protect the ecosystem near Fleming’s home, dubbed Goldeneye, creating a template for others in the process.


You learn about knots and water flow and snowmelt and follow the mating habits of bugs like they’re Kardashians — and how climate change means bark beetles are surviving the warming winters, killing off unprecedented acres of Ponderosa pines across the West. Ponderosa pines smell like vanilla cake. Not just vanilla and not just cake, but vanilla cake. I love knowing that, and I love knowing that you practically have to hug them to smell it. But every year I go back to Montana, I see more dying off and know the world is changing and it makes me sad.

This cynical girl from Harlem, USA, didn’t grow up with anyone who fished this way.






Book Review: For the love of rivers.



…so what is it you do, exactly?  Colorado State’s Kurt Fausch tackles the question in his book For the Love of Rivers.  In Fausch’s case, how aquatic communities of fish and invertebrates are structured, how they are linked to terrestrial ecosystems, and how humans alter those linkages.  It’s thoughtful, and messy- if scientists knew how to answer these questions they’d already be answered- and sometimes the solutions seem absurd, like fixing plastic greenhouses over creeks to understand the importance of streamside insects to native trout.  But understanding how these systems work helps us fix them when they break.  Fixing them when they break ensures our children have the same opportunities our parents provided us.  Fausch’s book is a must-read for those interested in field biology generally, for those interested in field biology as a career, and perhaps most importantly- as a primer in how to engage and interest the public in field research that contributes to the health of their environment.

Review: Hunting musky with a fly (book).

I’m averse to how-to books, but there’s a lot to targeting muskellunge and they’re not known for being gullible. So, I gave it a shot.

First off, and this is an entirely subjective hangup: musky is a verb.  Muskie is a fish.  I can’t abide the y- no one calls them brookys.

All that aside, the 182 page book is loaded with excellent photos iOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAncluding high-quality series illustrating the technical aspects of casting and retrieval.  The writing isn’t going to win awards but does provide a thorough, nuts-and-bolts rundown of muskie distribution, biology, and the mechanics of targeting, fishing for, and landing the critters.  There’s a chapter of interviews with the continent’s muskie luminaries that appearing out of nowhere in the back half of the book, and about thirty fly recipes at the end- well written, well photographed; each one gets your mind going.

In all, Hunting Musky with a Fly provides a quality foundation for targeting these fussy fish.  As someone just beginning to suss out the intricacies of muskie fishing, I appreciate the knowledge Rick Kustich was able to compile in the book- and if muskie on the fly are something you’re curious about, it’s worth the investment.