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Fishing's Greatest Misadventures
Edited by Tyler McHahon and Paul Diamond
Softbound:   204 pages.
Cassagrande Press   $15.95
ISBN  0-9769516-4-9

Fishings greatest misadventures The only thing better than a good yarn is a whole slew of them bound up in the latest series of Greatest Misadventures titles compiled by Tyler McMahon and Paul Diamond. Trouble in paradise might be a good way to sum up where this book takes the reader.

You won't find any "Look at my big fish," or "Look at where I go fishing and you don't" kind of story in these pages. Instead, expect tales of the flip-side of a good time: fishing for taimen with prairie dogs as bait; getting lined by a Volkswagen Bug; getting pulled into the ocean by shark, catfish, or other fish larger than your nightmares; or getting stuck by a fish with a bill.

What I like about this book is its democratic character. The editors sought out both established fishing authors as well as those who are lesser known but nevertheless have a compelling story to tell and a way of telling it that keeps us squirming in our seats with a "you've got to be kidding me?" This book might be called a "social experiment" in story telling, and it works very well to engage, if not frighten, anyone who has taken up the sport.

Don't expect to learn how to land a big fish in this book. In fact, you might decide you don't want to catch a big fish for all the trouble they can cause. On the other hand, a certain amount of trouble is inescapable, even necessary--at least if you want people to read tales about the difficulties we fishers have to endure.

How does this book measure up as good reading? Compelling, to be sure. A well chosen cast of characters who get into the kind of trouble we like to hear about, certainly. Or you can measure a good book by what I sometimes do, coffee stains. In my case, I enjoyed the book during four mornings of a recent Idaho cutthroat adventure. One thing is certain about camp reading--the only books that accompany a fishing trip are the ones that float to the top in quality. And that also means that they tend to get beat up and spilled upon as they get shoved around the camp.

You'll enjoy this collection of stories. My favorite: fishing in an outhouse (you'll have to get the book to learn what happens.)

--Toney J. Sisk


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