Howdy, and welcome to another Fish Untamed Reads. The books featured this week include a story of a round-the-world fishing trip, a historic look at public lands and Teddy Roosevelt, and a look into the history of the Smoky Mountains.
1. Fly-Fishing the 41st by James Prosek
In Fly-Fishing the 41st, James Prosek covers his round-the-world fishing trip along the 41st parallel, the latitude of his hometown. While, at times, the words “fly fishing” may be a bit of a stretch (he does everything from fly fishing to diving for fish with his bare hands), Prosek does a great job of focusing on more than just the fishing in this book. As he travels from North America to Europe to Asia and back, he highlights the unique species and techniques along the way, while also painting a picture of the culture and experiences of the place.
2. The Big Burn by Timothy Egan
This book will probably appeal to way more interests than most I list. The Big Burn is a trifecta of public lands history, biography, and thrilling wildfire coverage. It covers Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency, his friendship with Gifford Pinchot, their efforts to create the best system of public lands in the world, and (to add a little more excitement) the story of the worst wildfire to ever hit the U.S.
3. Strangers in High Places by Michael Frome
When I first picked this book up, I didn’t realize I was interested in the Smokies. To be honest, the only reason I started reading it was that I was looking for a book at the library that wasn’t where it should have been. This was the book filling that spot on the shelf. I decided to check it out, and discovered that the history of the Smoky Mountains is way more interesting than I’d thought. From the indigenous people living in the area to the moonshiners operating in the deep pockets of the mountains, this book touches on the rich history that gave the Smokies their character.
Don’t forget to check out other Fish Untamed Reads!