Book review
Pardon My Backcast
Flyfishing Humor beyond compare

Reviewed by S.B. Schweitzer

  • Pardon My Backcast
  • Alan Pratt
  • Frank Amato Publications
  • ISBN: 1-57188-059-3
  • Price: approx. US$15.-

GFF Rating: 6



WARNING: I enjoy good humor. If you don't care for silly wit and prose, you won't agree with my review. Stop here and read something more serious on GFF. However, if you are like me and your built-in internal wader-snug system jiggles over classic comedy, then you'll want to read on.

Combine the practicality of Sheridan Anderson, The witty prose of John Gierach and the comedic illustration of Gene Trump and you have the only Alan Pratt book ever published. Making it more of a spectacular feat is that all the writing and illustrations are done solely by the author.

Alan Pratt was for many years the resident artist/cartoonist for The Seattle Times, 41 years to be exact. He was most well known for his outdoor illustrations and comical muse to flyfishing. After his sudden death in 1994, his unfinished book "Pardon My Backcast", was picked up by The Washington Fly Fishing Club and completed by his daughter, Berlinda and son Mark.

Alan Pratt in his custom wading shoes...canvas Converse All-Stars!

While this is a small paperback of only 80 pages, it will entertain you for hours and have you flipping backward to re-read a section or two. His wit starts from the get-go by just reading the Chapter Contents. Chapters such as "An Entire Chapter Devoted to Getting Lost", "General Procedures for Successfully Falling In", "How to Find West Yellowstone", "Cussing", and "Why Fly Fishing Books Never Make The Best Seller List" make you want to read this book!

Alan Pratt must have been a joy to be around...looking like the jovial 1940's Coca-Cola Santa Claus and humoring the Seattle sporting contingent for over 40 years. I could just imagine grabbing the daily Times, pulling up a wire-frame stool, asking for the Seattle precursor to Starbucks coffee and whisking straight to the section of the paper where Alan Pratt illustrations and wit could be found. It would most certainly make my day...that's for sure.



This book had me laughing non-stop on a flight from Denver to Bozeman. Thank God most of the passengers were flyfisher-types that could understand my laughter after peering over my shoulder to see just what-in-the-heck I was reading. This book was so gosh-darned good that I re-read it on the flight home. As humor goes in the drafty flyfishing media-scape, this book sets the stage for what books en-genre' should be in the future. I clearly give this work a '6' on the GFF rating scale. It's too bad the book is a paperback. After I lend it to my friends, I'll wage a dozen size 18 Royal Wulffs that it won't last the carnage of laughter and re-thumbing. You won't find another book like it. I guarantee it.


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