The Gentlemen's Society of Angling
Author: Jay Hill
Reviewed by Steve Schweitzer At only 126 pages, this quick read will have your mind absorbed in the genesis and exodus of The Gentlemen's Society of Angling. At $18, however, the price seems a bit steep for an afternoon's read in paperback cover, figure you'll clip off $0.15 per page as you read (smile!). The book has a hint of Forrest Gump's honest niavity and a generous touch of characters similar to Norman McClean. You even come to realize that Quill Gordon just isn't a fly. Author Jay Hill casts a story line that lays out perfect, but you won't know it until the very end; a perfect cast so-to-speak.
The storyline, based in the Laurel Mountains of Pennsylvania, is perfectly woven together using a mix of first-person narrative, long-lost journal entries, good old story telling and snippets of history. A handful of gentlemen are re-discovered via a long-lost and found again aged journal of the Gentlemen's Society of Angling. The pages whisk you on a journey that takes you through a half-a century of chasing brookies, coping with societal change, living amidst urban sprawl, enduring life's tragedies and re-living smiles. All of this is drawn from the journal entries of the elite members of The Society.
Just as in "The River Runs Through It", The Gentlemen's Society of Angling will have you quickly realize that flyfishing is a life's sidebar that oftentimes guides innocent trouble aside and level sets our daily grind. And, as the book surmises, God too, must be a flyfisher. The Gentlemen's Society of Angling is destined for the movies. Adventure, love, drama, sorrow, tragedy and laughter are wrapped in the guise of a gang of flyfishers who share 50 years in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Now, if only a movie producer will read this review. But before you see the flick, be sure to read the book first.