Gifford Pinchot: Fishing Talk


I just finished reading a jewel of a book and before I put it away I want to share a quote or two with you (from the chapter titled From Pickles to Molasses):

“One Wiggle of the yellowtail that showed he was alive, and the next second the amber jack could not have consolidated him more completely if he had been a small competeing corporation.”

…and from the very next paragraph…

“I struck that amber jack as hard as my six-thread line made safe, but the proper response was lacking. The strikee failed to recognize the situation. More strikes, but the only result was a little half-hearted run, very much as a lazy old dog makes believe to chase a ball to please a child. SO I kept on striking, and finally the truth prevailed, as it has a habit of doing, and the amber jack suddenly found himself with an urgent engagement a long way off.”

…and the colorful language continues…

“I was just settling down to what I regarded as a possible two-hour job – for a three-six outfit and a reel without a handle brake are not calculated for quick results with amber jacks – when somewhere in the distance the line grated across a bit of coral and the amber jack severed his connection with civilization and went his way, the richer by one yellowtail and six feet of wire with a perfectly good hook at one end and a perfectly good swivel at the other. What was left of the line came back to me.”

Fly fishing, bait fishing, harpooning, and shark despising are all covered in this great read published in 1936. This is fishing writing of the highest caliber.

If you enjoy fly fishing history as much as I do you may enjoy the chapter entitled When the Dry Fly was New.


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