Fly Fishing Literature

“Ruin”- a Book Review


If you are looking for a good read that intertwines fly fishing with the storyline, then you should consider the novel “Ruin“, by Leigh Seippel. The storyline is one of financial ruin and escape to the rural Hudson Valley, where Frank and Francy, the main characters, try to put their lives back together. They are invited to attend a dinner at a local fly fishing club, where Frank is captivated by the prospect of learning to fly fish. A mentor emerges, and advises him to mostly learn on his own, in order to restore his self-esteem and confidence. Fly fishing continues to play an important role, leading to Frank’s eventual recovery.

While a story of personal loss and recovery is nothing new, the author has a unique writing style, and is very witty. He is an avid fly fisher and past president of The Anglers’ Club of New York. At times he pokes fun at the sport and its stuffy fishing clubs, such as the following excerpt-

“He was just back from floating the Montana Missouri. The guide had him fishing a dropper they called a squirmy. You can suppose they call it that since a San Juan worm is despicable in polite society.”

“No one who fishes a San Juan can be a member of the Anamorphosis Club,” says Alice.

As the author develops the storyline, he seamlessly weaves fly fishing into his characters lives. His observations of their fly fishing are refreshingly accurate-

“All right Frank. Remember the fish breathe most easily facing upstream, they position that way looking for food to float down to them. Make your every move thinking of what the fish will see and must not see. The not includes any sight of you, or your fly moving unnaturally in the current.”

Ruin” is a fun read, especially for fly fishers.

Written by Al Simpson, 12/2022.

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