June 26, 2010

Gear Review - Upriver & Downstream

I don't read much. That's actually a lie, I guess I read quite a bit if you count blogs, magazines, and the morning newspaper. What I really mean is that I don't read books very often. The only books I read on a regular basis are about princesses, fairies, or farm animals...to my daughter each night before she goes to bed.

It's not that I don't enjoy reading, it's just that I suppose I'm a by-product of the MTV generation.  A victim of a short attention span, I prefer to consume printed words in short, quick, bite-sized morsels. So when I received a somewhat thick hardback book for my birthday called Upriver & Downstream, I politely smiled and thanked my wife for the thoughtful gift, but at the same time seriously wondered if I'd have the time (or patience) to read it.

Admittedly, I'm only about halfway through, but if you enjoy any kind of fishing and are attention-span challenged when it comes to reading like myself, this book is for you. Plus it will look cool on your otherwise barren bookshelf.  

Upriver & Downstream isn't really a single story. It's actually a collection of fishing stories that were originally written as outdoors columns in the New York Times. Because of this, no "chapter" is more than 3 or 4 pages long. It's the perfect book to read for a brisk 10 minutes, and not feel guilty about putting down when something more pressing pops up. Subsequently, you can then crack it open a week later and immediately pick up where you left off without needing to wrack your brain trying to remember the minutiae of what you've already read.  It's the polar opposite of an episode of LOST.

Although the overriding theme is fly-fishing, there's a little bit for everyone in the book. It's divided into 5 sections - Coldwaters, Warmwaters, Salt Waters, Odd Waters, & Far Waters. Each has a unified theme - i.e. Coldwaters is predominantly about trout & salmon fishing; Warmwaters, bass & panfish - but each chapter within is a standalone tale written by a different author with their own unique styles.

So to conclude this review, I guess it's pretty clear I like this book. Its unusual layout & "small bites" makes me think pretty much everyone that enjoys reading fishing blogs would find something to like about it too.

The copy of Upriver & Downstream featured in this product review was not purchased by me.  It was given to me as a birthday gift by my wonderful wife who purchased it somewhere.  I really don't know where she bought it - probably Target or maybe Costco - I think she buys everything at those two stores...or at the Gap, but last time I checked the Gap didn't sell books with their denim & khakis.  Despite that fact, my most recent Target credit  card bill did not influence my review of this book.


  1. I am going to pick this up; I got a book like this out in Oregon and it was a watercolor journal of a trout fisherman as he went out throughout the world.

  2. you forgot to mention the MAIN reason why I bought you this book- it has a vintage-y textured page fore-edge. so when the book is closed the pages are not all flush. It's the little things that you notice when you're a design freak like me.

    I'm glad you like the book.

  3. I might have to check this out.

  4. Trout - that's one of the few I HAVEN'T seen or read - I'll add it to my list.