We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking. -- Finis Mitchell

Fly fishing on the big screen

One sport that I never did get into was fishing. I think fishing has to be an inherited gift. Some kids inherit a belly from their dads, others bushy eyebrows, others male pattern baldness, and others inherit fishing. Heck, some kids get all four!

As for me I lucked out and didn't get any of those.

But I can see why so many people love to fish. A) it's easy on the knees, B) it seems relaxing. Seriously, do you have to DO anything? and C) your in the outdoors.

I had a friend in college who was obsessed with the sport of fly fishing. He would lock himself in his dorm room and tie flies all day and night. We once didn't see him for a two week span. I don't even think he showered those two weeks. Then, one day he came out of his room. Donning his fishing vest, complete with all the flies he had been working on for the past weeks, his lucky fishing hat, and his waders he headed off into the woods.

We again didn't see him for a week. But when he returned he had the aroma of fish, pond water, sweat and elk urine.

Now I never figured out that last smell, but I never wanted to anyway. The kid was serious about his sport. He even would tie flies in class! Set up the book on the desk and work on them in the backrow. Yeah, he didn't do very well that year in school.

The reason he loved the sport so much was because his dad loved it. And his grandpa loved it. And his grandpa's dad had loved it. I'm pretty sure he could trace fly fishing back to his earliest ancestors.

But after suffering through a year of terrible grades for great flies, he decided to put fly fishing back in the "hobbie" catagory and just do it on the weekends.

As for fishing, there is a new movie being made, no, not a remake of "A River Runs Through It". I'm talking about "The River Why."

The main character, Gus, is played by Zach Gilford. Better known for his role as quarterback Matt Saracen on the NBC hit "Friday Night Lights."

From IMDB, I gather that the movie is about a fisherman who abandons his big-city life to find himself in the wild. Sounds great to me!

It also stars one of Hollywood's newest "it" girls in Amber Heard. Amber actually had her own taste with Friday Night Lights, but the movie, not the TV Series. She also was in "Alpha Dogs" opposite "Into The Wild" actor Emile Hirsch.

But before The River Why was ready for the big screen, it was book. A book published in 1984 by David James Duncan. It was actually Duncan's first novel. I have mine on order, and I don't even fish. But if 93 reviews on Amazon.com give it a 5 star rating, it must be good. Plus, it's under $2. That I can afford on a freelance journalist's salary.

Here's what the official Amazon.com Review said about the book:

David James Duncan's first novel has gained an increasingly wide audience over the years--some might even call it a following. This coming-of-age tale of Gus Orviston's search for the Pacific Northwest's elusive steelhead, a metaphor for Gus's internal quest for self-knowledge, appeals to all who cherish a good yarn and memorable characters. Uncle Zeke's colorful rendition of Gus's conception on the banks of the Deschutes River is itself worth the price of purchase.

I'll read the book. But I still don't fish.

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