Meet Skip and his wife Shelly, in Bimini Twists. Skip is a fishing guide and lately his life of guiding would-be fishing masters around the flats has been a little less dream-fulfilling then he had anticipated. His clients seem to have a knack for being unable to see fish let alone cast anywhere near them and the jet skiers are very good at coming around just in time to scare the fish. Still, life as a fishing guide has its moments-teaching a child to fly-fish, watching a rookie pull in their first tarpon or the even rarer, permit.
Though its alluring cover features fishermen adrift on a bright, calm sea, inside this book are 20 gritty vignettes on the exhausting life of a Florida Keys fishing guide. Master angler Skip and his devoted wife, Shelly, have spent their lives on the water introducing newcomers to "flyfisherdom," in pursuit of bonefish, tarpon and elusive saltwater game fish called permit. But what should have been a dream job has turned into a nightmare: reckless jet-skiers, vicious industry backbiting and, worst of all, clients from hell disturb Skip's former paradise. Most of the hardscrabble stories detail Skip's experiences towing scores of ignorant, haughty customers who won't follow his instructions, upon whom he bestows nicknames like Hangover, Motor Lips and Knowbetter. Whether it is a woman boarding his boat in high heels or a yuppie attempting to juggle a cell phone and a fishing rod, these irritations threaten Skip's love for the sport. Describing Skip and Shelly's experiences as proprietors of a small resort in the Caribbean, Rodgers writes a few happier, more relaxed stories, including one in which Shelly "befriends" a permit they name Pete. Those unfamiliar with the arcana of fly-fishing will quickly tire of the onslaught of fisherman's vernacular, not to mention Skip's endless stream of self-righteous contempt for just about everyone. Rodgers has written for numerous fishing magazines, and while her prose style might be appropriate to such venues, it is loaded with awkward similes and such embarrassing declarations as "smoked turkey breast coursed through his blood." This effort might do better in sporting goods shops than in bookstores.