April 5, 2011

Gear Review - River of Monsters - Holy Crap, Stories of Prehistoric Fish!!!!

I received a copy of River of Monsters in the mail the other week from the folks over at Kype Magazine. For those of you not familiar with Kype, they run a pretty slick magazine on steelhead, salmon, & trout fishing - one that you can also read free back-issues of HERE.
Imposing water on that cover

Anyway, I took the opportunity on my flights to & from Disneyworld last week to knock this book out. It's different from what George Douglas usually puts out, as it's a work of fiction, not the typical instructional how-to catch fish book. It actually borders on science-fiction, since the target species is prehistoric sabertooth salmon with luminescent red tails (no kidding)!

Now, I'm not going to give away all the details the story - or if the main character Jeff Warner catches the aforementioned fish, but I will tell you this - the book is a pretty entertaining read. No, it's not a candidate for a National Book Award, but it's a quick 125 pages of engaging fun. You kind of get wrapped up following the characters through uncharted territory in British Columbia, navigating treacherous terrain, and adapting steelhead & salmon tactics on the fly to try and land the elusive beast.

With all the good, this wouldn't be an honest review without calling out the book's major shortcoming.  No pictures!  I really would have enjoyed seeing some of the maps/river charts of the wild landscapes that are frequently referenced during their travels. Some diagrams of the rigs & tackle they were using would also have made the book a bit more engaging for the novice angler, or one not used to chasing salmon or steelies. And of course, since the fish was based on an actual ancient species called Smilodonichthys Rastrosus, a rendering of what that fish might have looked like would have been clutch. If this book goes to a second printing, it needs to include these aspects.
Skull Image from University of Oregon

Even with no picutres, this book was a fun and engaging read.  If you're a traditional angler, one that rolls thick in Orvis & dreams about casting dries to brookies, this story probably isn't for you.  However, if you're looking for a nice brisk story, one that is part fantasy, part fun, and all rooted in reality, I would recommend River of Monsters.

Now to all of my loyal readers, sorry...I got nothing for you...but guess what...if you act fast...Leigh over at FinFollower is giving a copy of River of Monsters away!  You might want to check it out HERE.  Or if you don't want to wait to get your dinofish fix, of course you could always buy one HERE.

The copy of River of Monsters read in this product review was provided to me for free from the folks at Kype Magazine; other than posting their online mags and occasionally getting stuff to preview, I receive no monetary compensation whatsoever. My relationship with Kype is further explored HERE. As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll let you know that too. That said, I probably wont waste my or your time reviewing something that sucks, unless it's really sucks obscenely hard...like the New York Mets.


  1. Well, I don't have any fish pictures to show, so here's my cat


    (p.s. OJ is making me post this)