"A Steelheader's Way" by Lani Waller - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question "A Steelheader's Way" by Lani Waller

Has anybody had a chance to look through this new book that just came out this month and can give a quick review??
I'm thinking about getting it.
Thanks!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 03:51 PM
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I spoke with Lani about two weeks ago. A few advance copies were sent out to the usual suspects (reviewers from various magazines etc) a short time ago; full release should happen very soon as the distributor expected to have copies last week I believe. I have one on order and will post something once mine arrives.



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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 04:56 PM
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Mine was shipped yesterday . . . a friend illustrated it and tells me its a good one. Will also post.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 09:49 PM
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book

Received my copy today! I cannot wait to delve into; I really appreciate Lani's perspective on steelies. I will report more after I have had a chance to look at it closer.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 10:47 PM
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On the shelf...

The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches had a number of copies on the shelf Saturday. There were at least 4.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 07:22 AM
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Mine arrived. First impression . . . gorgeous. More as I get into it.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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Have almost finished reading it, on the last chapter. Would say that it is one of the best books written on the subject. The focus isn't on Lani except for the required hero shoots, but on the fish and what he has learned/what works for him and is still learning.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 01:37 AM
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I picked up a copy at Kaufmann's today.
Looks like a lot of great info. The chapter on indicators I could do without though.

The Quiet Pool

Use an indicator...go to jail
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 06:43 PM
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The chapter on indicators I could do without though.
Wouldn't it be nice if some authors would see fit to include some sort of disclaimer at the end of any discussion about indicator fishing for steelhead?

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 09:37 AM
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I started reading my copy yesterday, and I'm about half-way through it. Outstanding photography and a very good read up to this point. I do want to take a minute, though, to gripe about a couple of things. The first chapter that's Lani's writing is chapter two and there are two glaring factual mistakes within the first several paragraphs. First of all, he states that Mt. St. Helens is in Oregon while it clearly is in Washington. Though a mistake like this is all too common in periodicals due to the tight timelines involved, it should not happen in a book of this quality. That's something that should have been caught by an editor. The very next paragraph is even more disturbing, though. He says, "the scientific community proclaimed the steelhead to be a closer relative of the Pacific salmon than they were of the rainbow trout." The next several sentences continues that thought. In fact, the scientific community has determined that the steelhead and rainbow trout are identical and therefore carry the same taxonomic designation, Oncorhynchus mykiss. I re-read that paragraph and the one following it several times and he clearly wants people to believe that that is the designation for the steelhead only and that rainbows are still in the Salmo genus with the brown trout and Atlantic salmon. In a book specifically about that species this type of an error should have been caught. Had the editor or Lani simply read the first chapter in the book, written by Bob Hooton, they would have found that he got it right. I met Lani one time and he is a gracious and humble person. I'm sure some of you know him way better so it's tough for me to get into all this. However, whether it is Lani's fault or the fault of the editor(s) it just should not happen in a book costing $40.00 and that is likely to be a "bible" for decades. Heck, I just re-read Trey's bible again last year. I guess my biggest question is, "Who read the galley proofs?" Thomas McGuane, Yvon Chouinard, and Dave Whitlock are all quoted on the back of the dust jacket. Those ringing endorsements usually mean that they've read early proofs, but I can't imagine any of those three guys having read the book, especially Dave, and not pointing out both of these errors. While I'm sure some of you will say that it's no big deal, I'm saying that in this case, for reasons mentioned above, I think it is and doesn't reflect well on Stackpole Books at all. I'm sure Lani is aware of both of these by now and my gut says he's really embarrassed by it. Factual errors of this type effect the credibility of the rest of the writing, though like I said I've now read roughly half the book and found no others and have, for the most part, enjoyed it.
post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR SPEY View Post
... However, whether it is Lani's fault or the fault of the editor(s) it just should not happen in a book costing $40.00 and that is likely to be a "bible" for decades. ...
The photographs are stunning, but I was equally disappointed with the writing.

Bert
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 12:17 AM
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In Lani's defense

St. Helens was just an over site, who know maybe the editor changed it...we all remember Dan Quayle and his infamous editing skills on the word "Potatoes"...just saying it could happen.

As far as Lani's view of steelhead, please re-read the chapter. Lani is quite clear that steelhead are trout "and the word "trout" is not negotiable" (as quoted from page 20).

The next paragraph only states his, dumbfounded awe, that up until the recent past the scientific community did proclaim them as closer to salmon then trout. Yes, I agree a clearer choice of words may have been used, but then again it wouldn't be Lani's words.

So what Lani's stated is in fact true, "A few years ago...(in the '80s) the scientific community proclaimed...(not that it started in the 1980s but the proclamation set forth in the 1850's had still perpetuatated) steelhead to be a closer relative of the Pacific Salmon then they were of Rainbow trout."

Lani's as a long time lover of Steelhead, in his non scientific opinion, has stated "the word Trout is not negotiable".

James.

by the way, thank you Lani for a great book!
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 09:48 AM
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But that statement is not true. Since they ARE rainbow trout how can they be closer to salmon than trout? I agree he spends the next several paragraphs saying why they are closer to trout, but he doesn't understand what the scientific community says, or at least he didn't state it correctly in the book. Believe me, I've read that part of the chapter close to a dozen times now. I spent thirty years as an English teacher, and I know how to scrutinize writing to determine what the author is trying to say. The sentence both you and I quoted doesn't need an English major, though. He clearly believes (or at least did when he wrote the chapter) that the scientific community has the steelhead as a salmon and the rainbow as a trout. And that's just not the case.

As I stated in my previous post, oversites are reasonably common in periodicals. They still are not really acceptable, but they are understandable. They are NOT acceptable in a book of this type. Again, I stated that it was an editor who should have caught it, and maybe even an editor changed it to be incorrect, but the guy with his name on the front of the dustjacket is still ultimately responsible for the content of the book. By the way, I read several more chapters last night and truly am enjoying the book. Unlike nextcast, I actually think the writing is quite good, and I don't have a problem with a chapter on indicators. Many of us don't prefer to fish that way, but many others do, and I only have an issue with it IF they are targeting spawning fish on the gravel. And I haven't found any more serious factual errors. So I'd say, even with the two goofs, it's a major work and Lani should receive the accolades that I'm sure will be forthcoming.
post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 11:03 AM
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JR Spey, those aren't his words, he was just stating not so long ago the scientic community did proclaim that Steelhead was part of the Pacific Salmon family. Remember he is not saying a few years back the scientific community decided they were salmon, he is just saying up until a few years back, they still proclaimed that 19th century thinking. It wasn't until the late 80's early 90's, that the scientific community actually got it right. Lani's point was, for the first two decades of his steelhead career, he viewed them as trout, regardless what the Scientifc community had voiced. When you have four decades of steelhead history under your belt, you tend to use words like "a few years back". Taking Lani's long history into account, it was just "a few years back" that they believed they were from salmon, and perhaps to him "a couple years ago they got it right!".

This whole chapter, in actuallity, was Lani's humble attempt to demonstrate, no vindicate, a belief he had always carried..."steelhead are trout"...Yes, he could have said "I was right from the start, I Told You So! But that would have detracted from the "Magic" of steelhead and the steelhead experience.

So please, take another look, and enjoy the rest of the book!

James
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 12:54 PM
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I did read it again after reading your second post. My response is he may have meant to write what you've stated, but he clearly did not do so. And it has to do with a lot more than the meaning of the phrase "a few years ago." If, indeed, he meant to say what you're inferring then he needed an editor to help him say it correctly. Despite my deep respect for Lani and what he's accomplished, I'm not so sure he didn't mis-understand what the Scientific community decided several years ago. Since I don't know that for a fact, then consider that it is the way I interpreted his writing, and I'm sure many other readers will, too.
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