Published Aug 21. 2018 - 5 years ago
Updated or edited Dec 15. 2022

Book review: Backwoods Brook Trout

Stories of Time and Place

"I spent most of 1949 in utero, gradually gaining awareness that something truly good awaited once I left the waters of my beginnings." A review of Frederick Prince's book.

Frederick Prince
Beech River Books
Publishing year: 
Reviewed by: 

I have just been on a virtual trip in time and space. A trip that to some extent brought me back to some real experiences I have had myself, fishing small streams in the north eastern part of the US, but to a much larger extent took me along with the author to places and times that he had fished.

Both experiences were great.

I took the trip with Frederick Prince and did it by reading his "Backwoods Brook Trout", a book containing 21 chapters, each forming a more or less individual short story.
I read the book during a summer month split up by vacation, work, meetings, illness and other things, which can typically happen during a summer month. The book proved a perfect companion, offering delightful little nibbles of adventure, thoughts, even philosophy, all written on the background of brook trout fishing in streams and ponds in the north eastern corner of USA.
It was first when I started penning this, and needed the correct information for the review, that I realized that its subtitle is "Stories of Time and Place". My intro read "time and space", but apart from the precise wording, I came out of this book with the exact feeling that the author obviously put into it.

The story starts "I spent most of 1949 in utero, gradually gaining awareness that something truly good awaited once I left the waters of my beginnings."
And a little further down the first page:
"Time passed as time does and it became apparent that there was also much water on the outside world and the water had fish: magical creations of evolution, no doubt the "truly good" I had dreamed of before birth."

From there chapters deal with persons, fishing trips, locations, discoveries and all the other things we experience as anglers. I could easily identify with all aspects of it in spite of coming from a vastly different fishing background and having done some completely different day-to-day fishing. 130 pages of text with no illustrations managed to paint some fine images for my inner eyes.

...and the water had fish: magical creations of evolution...

As you might gather from all this, I found the book to be a really joyful read. It's a mellow, thoughtful and sometimes even slow (in the good way) account of the author's history with brook trout. It's still both humorous, entertaining and sometimes even a little exiting. It deals with the normal day fishing, the over-the-top fishing, the not-so-good fishing, fish size and numbers, people, places and memories and much more.

It's an easy read, but in no way simple in the sense primitive. Its essay structure makes it great for those who need something that can be digested in bites. You can of course read it in longer stretches - even one sitting - if you please. It works that way too.
A really nice book, which will please fly fishing readers who want to join the author on some humble adventures chasing brookies.


Log in or register to pre-fill name on comments, add videos, user pictures and more.
Read more about why you should register.

Since you got this far …

The GFF money box

… I have a small favor to ask.

Long story short

Support the Global FlyFisher through several different channels, including PayPal.

Long story longer

The Global FlyFisher has been online since the mid-90's and has been free to access for everybody since day one – and will stay free for as long as I run it.
But that doesn't mean that it's free to run.
It costs money to drive a large site like this.

See more details about what you can do to help in this blog post.