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Fishing for Brookies, Browns and Bows: The Old Guy’s Complete Guide to Catching Trout

by Gord Deval and Paul Quarrington

At casting demonstrations Gord Deval has been known to slice up a peeled banana at 40 feet with a well-aimed hook. This fact – and the prodigious amount of information in Fishing for Brookies, Browns and Bows – should warn even the most avid trout fisherman not to quibble with Deval and his star literary pupil, Paul Quarrington, who offers humorous interjections to the Old Guy’s encyclopedic knowledge of trout fishing.
The book is divided into three sections, one each devoted to the brook trout or char, the “reclusive and elusive brown trout,” and the “mighty rainbow.” We are treated to anecdotes and in-depth detail regarding the “aesthetics of angling,” including instructions on how to thread worms, how to hook the fish, why lures work, and the four classes of trout flies. We also learn about double-haul casting, false casting, ice fishing, and most importantly, about the necessity of patience.
Given Deval’s expertise, it is easy to see Quarrington’s role here as a kind of anecdotal court jester. But readers are not well served by Quarrington’s cute, self-serving introduction, with its references to his earlier book, Fishing with My Old Guy. And unless you’re a professional angler you may find yourself a little out of your depth, as Quarrington did during a long discussion on fly patterns.
But if you “fish for the pleasure of the pastime” and find it a “balm for the soul,” Fishing for Brookies, Browns and Bows is probably for you – even if your mind ends up feeling occasionally squeezed like a sardine.