Roderick L(angmere) Haig-Brown J. R. de la TORRE BUENO - Essay

J. R. de la TORRE BUENO

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Thirty-three individual pieces make up ["Fisherman's Spring"], and every one of them is worth the full attention of any angler, conservationist, nature-lover, or appreciator of supple, clean writing. We find here what we have come to expect of Mr. Haig-Brown—great knowledge of angling, and of fishes; a common-sense approach to the "mysteries" of the sport; wise opinions modestly held; a deep realization of the importance of fishing to the fisherman himself, and to the whole people; and a sheaf of good stories out of his own broad experience, all built around fishing, but not all concerned with fish.

There are excellent pieces on wading, and on handling boats in fast water—how-to-do-it articles, really; a discussion of the qualities of double-taper and multiple-taper lines; an illuminating bit about the confusing multiplicity of fly patterns; articles on casting techniques, hook and leader sizes, waterside birds, the writings of Charles Cotton…. All through, there are incidents and anecdotes in profusion…. Perhaps more important than these, certainly more humanly valuable, are those essays in which Mr. Haig-Brown examines the sport of angling in relation to the nature of man, the physical world he inhabits, the society of which he is a part.

All told, this a capital book for between-times reading; and that is exactly the purpose for which it is intended. "There is no sport better served by its literature than angling," says Mr. Haig-Brown in one of these essays. "Fisherman's Spring" furnishes abundant demonstration of that fact.

J. R. de la Torre Bueno, "Rainbow, Cutthroat, et al.," in New York Herald Tribune Book Review, May 20, 1951, p. 11.