Attention Atherton fans....

Everyone loves a good fish story!
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ewpeper
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Re: Attention Atherton fans....

Post by ewpeper » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:41 am

mikevalla wrote:Bob, you would also be aware (along with other guys from our era, such as Esopus Ed) that Nick Lyons made his mark in the publishing world via the string of re-releases of old fly fishing classics. Books that hit the shelves in the 1969-1972 era such as Modern Dry Fly Code, A Book of Trout Flies, Streamside Guide, etc. got many of us pumped up. These were, in essence, instructional yet quite literary. We've moved away from literary fly fishing titles to "photo books," filled with page after page of what are commonly called fish hero shots.

There was a time, as I've said countless times before, when fly fishing was known as the most literary of the sports. There was a time when fly fishing authors were less concerned with the end game goal, netting a big fish. Writers were foraging verbs and gerundives, not photos of gargantuan-size fish.

I'm struck right now by the remarkable sales showing of the re-release of The Fly and the Fish. I find great joy in what is happening with this book.
Interesting to see this excellent commentary and also interesting to see the name "Freshet Press" absent . . .so far. Many of those re-releases of classics were done by Mike Cohen and Bud Frasca and their little company. Books by Charlie Fox and Bus Grove come to mind along with Greased Line Fishing for Salmon by "Jock Scott" and many others. I had a ball for a few years working with Nick Lyons as well as Mke Cohen and the guys at WInchester Press when we were putting together the Field & Stream Book Club. Knopf had more than a few wonderful titles then, too, thanks to the wonderful work of Angus Cameron -- without a doubt the finest editor with whom I ever had the privilege of working. It was a blessing to work in that brief "golden age" of fly fishing (and upland bird hunting) books.

When I look at my book collection I'm amazed at the number of different publishers represented among the older books. Macmillan and Prentice-Hall are there (Schwiebert and McClane respectively) along with AS Barnes, Ronald Press, St Martins and others, either long gone or well away from the fishing business now.

And yes, it is regrettable that a collection of fishing "stories" would have a hard time finding the light of day in today's market. I was dismayed today to open the mail and find the annual report of the Henry's Fork Foundation illustrated with a classic "grip and grin" picture of the executive director with the rod balanced across his shoulders. It seems the modern motive is to try and turn traditionalists away from the game.

Apologies for the rant.
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

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Eperous
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Re: Attention Atherton fans....

Post by Eperous » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:35 pm

ewpeper wrote: ... Interesting to see this excellent commentary and also interesting to see the name "Freshet Press" absent . . .so far. Many of those re-releases of classics were done by Mike Cohen and Bud Frasca and their little company. Books by Charlie Fox and Bus Grove come to mind along with Greased Line Fishing for Salmon by "Jock Scott" and many others. I had a ball for a few years working with Nick Lyons as well as Mke Cohen and the guys at WInchester Press when we were putting together the Field & Stream Book Club. Knopf had more than a few wonderful titles then, too, thanks to the wonderful work of Angus Cameron -- without a doubt the finest editor with whom I ever had the privilege of working. It was a blessing to work in that brief "golden age" of fly fishing (and upland bird hunting) books. ...
Crown, Freshet Press, and Winchester Press gave me access to many out-of-print classics angling works I never could have afforded when I was much younger and trying to raise four kids... I can recall Ernest Schwiebert signing the praises of Vince Marinaro's A Modern Dry-Fly Code, which I think if a copy could be found started at $100 per, and up... my copy of Atherton's The Fly and the Fish is a Freshet Press... as I've said many, many times before, as a young wannabe flyfisher, Atherton's work probably affected my entire approach to trout more than anything I ever read... and if one wants to discuss art work in a book, how about William J. Schaldach's two books--- Current & Eddies and Coverts & Casts--- that Freshet reintroduced...

For the little it's worth, I think the "golden age" of angling literature peaked thanks to the efforts of Crown, Freshet, and Winchester and all the old classics they brought back... much of the "stuff" published today seems to have been written, discussed years ago... I don't want to sound cocky at all, but I stopped buying new "how to books" a few years ago... now my focus has turned to the history of and stories about this pastime... plus nothing like stumbling upon an old book from years long gone-by, IMO...

Ed

Mantis
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Re: Attention Atherton fans....

Post by Mantis » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:33 pm

Got "The Fly Fisher and the River" today and looking forward to reading it. Flipping through it I do have to say the 12 page Forward is the longest I have ever seen in a book. It is more of a 'chapter' than a Forward. Nice grade paper, I think a step or two better than the new Atherton. Wonder why that is... Maxines was printed in China while Atherton's was printed in the USA. You'd think it would be the other way round.

Think I'll take it to the Lancaster show Friday and read it in the room after dinner rather than count empty Newcastle Brown bottles in front of Retro:)

Ed Pirie
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Re: Attention Atherton fans....

Post by Ed Pirie » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:35 pm

Gosh, I look at my book shelves and I see volumes from the old Borzoi Books for Sportsmen (Knopf), of course lots of Stackpole, Crown, Nick Lyons Books, Little, Brown, & Co., Holt, Rhinehart, & Winston, A.S. Barnes, and many others. At one time, I was a member of the Field & Stream Book Club and the Outdoor Life Book Club. I watched the mailbox each month for the new Field & Stream so I could read the next installment of Corey Ford's "Lower Forty" column. After Corey Ford I moved on the Gene Hill and his "Hill Country" column. And then Bill Tappley was a good successor to his father. I am surrounded by great writing. I have to mention Sydney Lea as well. Syd is the president of the non-profit Adult Basic Ed. that I have worked for going on 19 years. Syd has written some good outdoor books as well such as "Hunting the Whole Way Home," A Place In Mind," and "A North Country Life." And not far north of me is Howard Frank Mosher and his wonderful books about our mythical Northeast Kingdom.

In my lifetime, so many good outdoor writers have been there for us to enjoy. I, like Ed, do not find much to be excited about anymore with outdoor writing. Mike Valla continues to put out some nice books and needed fly tying history that is local to many of us. Over the years, I have been partial to writing with a home in New England and the Northeast - I still am partial to this - have to admit it.

Someday, I think my son will inherit a wonderful outdoor library. It has provided, and still provides me with many hours of amusement. Long, hard winters in Vermont are meant for good outdoor writing. My problem now days is after a few pages, I am asleep. I have to do my reading in the early morning - actually, my favorite time of day.

I am still on the fence with this new Atherton book. I have both the Freshet Press and Dover Press editions. Mike has said the color plates in this new edition are close to, or equal to the original MacMillan printing. I am trying to decide if I need a third edition - probably will decide, "I do." For years, I have carried the Dover softcover edition of "The Fly and The Fish" in my bookbag. It is sort of beat up now and I must have read it at least a half dozen times. I liked Maxine Atherton's intro in the Dover edition so I probably should buy her collection of writing too. God, I wish my eyes didn't get so heavy.

Take care and good reading,
Ed Pirie
West Topsham, Vermont

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