Trout Fishing In America, and other books on the nightstand

I’m currently in a multi-read mode, slowly covering a few books simultaneously. On a year-old reccomendation from Guy, I’m finally reading Brautigan’s Trout Fishing In America. The wikipedia post offers an accurate description of the book: Novella length prose poem with no discernible storyline wherein trout, San Francisco bums, and fishing in Northern California and Idaho play central roles. It’s not something I would have thought I’d have liked, but the writing is too good to put it down.

A prime selection: “The two artists talked about comitting themselves to an insane asylum for the winter. They talked about how warm it would be in the insane asylum, with television, clean sheets on soft beds, hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes, a dance once a week with the lady kooks, clean clothes, a locked razor and lovely young student nurses. Ah yes, there was a future in the insane asylum. No winter spent there could be a total loss.”

Concurrently, I’m working through Saving Homewaters, by Gordon Sullivan, a reccomendation from Jim Van Loan. It’s about how Montana brought its trout population back from the brink of disaster. The point in the book I’m at now, hatcheries are the savior of trout fishing in Montana, but I have a feeling that perspective will shift as I continue reading. I hope to see if lessons from this book could apply to Oregon’s fisheries problems.

Lastly, I’m reading Dismantling the Hills, a selection of poems by Michael McGriff. McGriff is from Coos Bay and his poems are largely about central, coastal Oregon. There are some great lines in this book, and I really like the way he captures the run down, gravely feel of highway 101. You can find a bunch of his poems online at From The Fishouse (an amazing site btw).

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About mstansberry

Matt Stansberry currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and son.
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3 Responses to Trout Fishing In America, and other books on the nightstand

  1. guy says:

    I love when he gets into an argument with the outhouse. “I’m a monument to a good ass gone under.”

  2. Amy says:

    Dear Matt –

    Hi! How are you? I’m fine. Thank you for the new blog post – my favorite kind, too, where you give me new book recommendations.

    I’m still reading your copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma; haven’t mastered that whole reading of multiple books at one time very well, and am currently sucked into a Palahniuk…

  3. flyfishertc says:

    I had forgotten about Brautigan’s book. It must be 25 years ago when I read this book. Thanks for reminding me!
    Tight Lines!

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