Roderick L(angmere) Haig-Brown Haydn S. Pearson - Essay

Haydn S. Pearson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

We land-locked lubbers should be forgiven our envious twinges when we read Roderick Haig-Brown's most recent book on fishing. As a nature writer, he is authentic; as a fisherman, he rates among the world's most capable. As a writer, his prose is lean, descriptive and always interesting. "Fisherman's Summer" will become a minor classic in its special field.

Best of all, from an ordinary fisherman's viewpoint, Roderick Haig-Brown has the faculty of talking man to man. He knows why fishing appeals to so many…. He has the sense of humor that a fisherman needs, for, indeed, a fisherman without it is a pitiful object….

There is both a main course and dessert in "Fisherman's Summer." His arguments for better fishing, his recounting of results as dams have been built in his home river, his comments on fishing as a popular pastime, all have good meat. Dedicated fishermen, nature lovers and conservationists will benefit from his thinking….

The chapter on the Beaverskill that runs in the Catskills in New York is a classic in itself. Perhaps through this book this wonderful little river can be preserved for all time as a fisherman's paradise. Roderick Haig-Brown's gentle sermon on humor and his willingness to confer some credit on Lady Luck will be appreciated.

"Fisherman's Summer" is a book you will read and reread…. It is a book about fishing in the summer, but it is also the story of a man who knows that fishing is infinitely more than catching fish. And that is perhaps the only point on which all true fishermen will agree.

Haydn S. Pearson, "Angler's Delight," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1959 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), September 27, 1959, p. 10.