Northwest of Normal - Spey Pages
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
loco alto!
SSPey's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,927
Northwest of Normal

Book review: Northwest of Normal by John Larison

This is not a fishing book - it is fiction, a novel, and an easy fun read. While the story is not about fishing, a contemporary (youthful) subculture of steelhead angling pervades much of the storyline and the life of Andy Trib, a fly fishing guide who returns to the valley of his becoming after a prolonged absence that started the day before his closest fishing buddy was slated to marry the love of his life. The story is of his re-immersion in that place and its people, meeting up with old friends and finding new ones, learning of the impending development of sacred lands and waters (and of the complicit, illicit, and complex nature of his friends' involvement), of getting “lost” at the local annual carnival, and of finding solace in the only place that he was ever truly comfortable - on the water. Andy’s life has taken some turns, that’s for sure, in the form of messed up relationships with lovers, bosses, friends, and parents. If you had some freewheeling years as a teen or 20-something (or still do) and understand that life’s ride sometimes swerves across the lines far enough that the safest way out can appear to be on the opposite shoulder, then you’ll probably enjoy this book’s ride. The writing is clear and easy, not overly gushing as fishing prose often is, and seems to slide from brain to page, unfiltered. The grime makes it go.

and since this is a spey site, I should mention that this is perhaps the only book of fiction to have ever mentioned Burkheimer spey rods, and I’d say that the choice of the 8134 instead of the 8139 is allegorical in its own right. This book’s presentation is not a carefully measured long-line treatment of life’s finer things, ending in a delicate kiss that covers the water in a big slow arc … but instead tosses some big bugs out there, doing whatever it takes, some casts you didn't think were possible, hitting seams and boulders with all sorts of stuff hanging overhead - just hoping for a grab. Even tough days on the water are worth it, and they make the easy ones even sweeter.

CF Burkheimer fly rods advisory staff
Nextcast lines pro staff
SSPey is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 07:06 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Many. From NE salt, Russia, Canadian A Salmon, NW Steelhead, Bahamas, Keys. Live in Upstate NY
Posts: 877
Wow, Steve . . . you got me. I'll bite . . . Thanks.
wrke is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 11:42 AM
Tight line takes
TheWaker's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Down and Across
Posts: 829

A rise and a take for me as well. I am looking for this book today!

You have a way with words. There may be a book in you someday Steve!

TheWaker is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 05:42 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Any that'll have me
Posts: 70
ive heard this book was good, your description as solidified my ideas on reading it... the first time i read 'the river why' i was enthralled and the second time i was hooked. my search for good fishing involved fiction continues..
Zeb Stadler is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 09:43 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Salmon River NY
Posts: 385
Went out and bought that book after reading your review. Wow, what a great read. Received it a few days ago from Amazon, and I can say that it should be in the library of every fly fisherman. It's a very fast read, and I love the way Andy sells the Burkie to that customer. THanks again.

eastern spey is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Spey Pages forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Linear Mode Linear Mode
Rate This Thread:

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Skagit or Normal for a beginner mooky Spey Basics 5 06-24-2008 05:49 PM
What is normal re the Skagit heads sinking? Grampa Spey Tackle 0 06-04-2005 11:08 AM
Normal fly line on a spey rod?? BCOrchidGuy Rods 1 10-01-2003 11:22 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome