This vibrant blend of memoir, travelogue, and reflection on the deep truths of angling is framed around an annual fishing trip that Mark Kingwell and his father and two brothers take each year to British Columbia. Between the drinking, the cigars, and the piloting of a small dingy, Kingwell, previously of the belief that “fishing is stupid,” finds that the sport does allow for one important thing—quite a bit of time just to think, to allow thoughts to wander and new vistas to open up.
This realization leads Kingwell, who makes his living as a professor of philosophy, to ponder everything from masculinity and procrastination to golf and the value of work—not to mention the relative benefits of wet versus dry flies, the cast, and how best to fool a fish. As the book engagingly shows, fishing is worth thinking about because of the thinking that fishing allows. Especially when the trout aren’t biting.