John Waldman (editor)

Stripers, An Angler's Anthology

Reviewed by Martin Joergensen

Date: August 29th 1998

  • John Waldman (editor)
  • Stripers, An Angler's Anthology
  • Published by Ragged Mountain Press, McGraw-Hill, 1998
  • ISBN 0-07-067810-3
  • Price USD 21.95
I can't help being enthralled by stripers. And John Waldman's book has just enhanced that feeling. I have only had the chance to fish for stripers once in my life, but encounters with striper fishers, books about stripers, striper flies and pictures of this beautiful fish has surely given me the taste for more.

Waldman's anthology is immersed in fragrance of that great fishing, and has satisfied me for a little while. It does not fill me as a good striper trip would, but it is a fair substitute considering my geographical location and limited access to striper waters. For a price of 22 dollars I can get a virtual splash of the surf water that a huge striper whips on the hip boots of one of the participants in 'Slaughter at Pochet Hole' - one of the many excerpts in Waldman's book.

The book aims at conveying the ambience so typical for striper fishing. Whether it's Pochet Hole at Cape Cod, the San Francisco Bay area or the Hudson River between sewer pipes in the middle of New York, the authors represented in the book all express a deep fascination and respect for the fish.

My knowledge of the American striper heritage is not very profound, but I trust that the representatives of the literature that Waldman has chosen for the book are adequate. Names like John Cole, Frank Stick and Al Reinfelder don't ring a bell with me. The only name I recognize is J. Kenney Abrames and his Striper Moon - my own first encounter with striper literature. But the authors are fine enough for me, the quality of their writing is excellent and will definitely please most readers.

I have spent the last couple of days with striper fishers from all over the US, arching flies, plugs and spoons over surf, shallows and... sewer pipes. Waldman's background as a research associate with the Hudson River Foundation for Science and Enviromental Research and other scientific institutions places him in the middle of the striper turmoil and he has used his knowledge to collect some fine samples. Each passage of text seems well chosen out of the original context - short, poetic, inspiring, and annotated by Waldman in a small introduction that wets your appetite before you engulf in the adventures.

Both striper fishers, other salt water fishers and fishers with the urge to read and learn will enjoy Waldman's book.

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