CORVALLIS - Rudyard Kipling once fished for salmon on the Clackamas River, describing it as "glory enough for all time."
Zane Grey, one of the most recognized western writers in American history, was a regular visitor to the Rogue and Umpqua rivers, and sandwiched among his westerns were nine fishing books - one of which included a chapter of steelhead fishing on Deer Creek in Washington. And in Ken Kesey's memorable novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," inmates from the asylum enjoy a rare episode of freedom fishing off the Oregon coast.
These three classic northwest fishing tales are part of a new book published by the Oregon State University Press called "Fishing the Northwest: An Angler's Reader."
Contributors to the book include a number of notable authors who helped shape literature - especially outdoor writing - as well as newer writers whose work is helping to shape a rapidly growing genre.
Edited by veteran fly fisher Glen Love, "Fishing the Northwest" is comprised of 22 essays offered in two parts. The first, called New Voices, features writers who have made recent breakthroughs, including Ted Leeson, an OSU faculty member whose fly-fishing books have found a receptive audience; Lorian Hemingway, granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway; and Kathleen Dean Moore, an OSU philosophy professor who has written two books of essays on the outdoors.
The second section, called Northwest Tradition, features such well-known voices as Kipling, Grey and Kesey, as well as Norman Maclean, author of "A River Runs Through It," and Pulitzer Prize-winners H.L. Davis and Steve Raymond.
"Considering that the Pacific Northwest is water country, a collection of writing on Northwest angling comes as no surprise," wrote Love in his introduction. He went on to note that books and articles written by easterners defined angling literature in the 19th and early 20th centuries. That no longer is true.
"Today...much of the angling has moved west, and so have many of the angling writers," Love said. "The fish are bigger and more plentiful out here...All a region needs is a good writer or two to put it on the cultural map. Real places like Missoula, Corvallis and Campbell River and Astoria and the Deschutes and Seattle and West Yellowstone are making their own waves with their writers and publishers."
All royalties from "Fishing the Northwest" will be donated to the Pacific Rivers Council, a non-profit organization seeking to protect and restore rivers, watersheds and native aquatic species.
The book is available at book stores and libraries, or by calling 1-800-426-3797.
Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.
Tom Booth, 503-282-9801