A poet’s memoir of taking an unplanned trip to the Bahamas and meeting a fishing guide who changed his life: “A splendid book.”—Jim Harrison in The New York Times Book Review
Chris Dombrowski, a poet and passionate fly-fisher, had a second child on the way and an income hovering perilously close to zero when he received a miraculous email: can’t go, it’s all paid for, just book a flight to Miami.
Thus began a journey that would eventually lead to the Bahamas and to David Pinder, a legendary bonefishing guide. Bonefish are prized for their elusiveness and their tenacity. And no one was better at hunting them than Pinder, a Bahamian whose accuracy and patience were virtuosic. He knows what the fish think, said one fisherman, before they think it.
By the time Dombrowski meets him, though, Pinder has been abandoned by the industry he helped build. With cataracts from a lifetime of staring at the water and a tiny severance package after forty years of service, he watches as the world of his beloved bonefish is degraded by tourists he himself did so much to attract. But as Pinder’s stories unfold, Dombrowski discovers a profound integrity and wisdom in the bonefishing guide’s life.
“A poet and Montana-based fly-fishing guide recounts his trip to the Bahamas, where he met an aging guide who taught him about fish and life…loosely links reflections on his experiences catching and releasing bonefish, the history and geography of the Bahamas, the construction of fishing rods, stories he has told his children, and the difference between fishing or hunting for sport and for dinner.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Thematically complex, finely wrought, and profoundly life-affirming.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)