John Traver - Trout Madness

St. Martin’s Press 1960

Trout Madness was Traver’s fifth book, the earlier ones having nothing to do with fly fishing, so we should be glad he got some practice in. One, Anatomy of a Murder, became a bestseller. I'm biased, but I think that this one was his best:

"Successful fly fishing for trout is an act of high deceit; not only must the angler lure one of nature's subtlest and wariest creatures, he must do so with something that is false and no good - an artificial fly. Thus fake and sham lie at the heart of the enterprise. The amount of Machiavellian subtlety, guile, and sly deception that ultimately becomes wrapped up in the person of an experienced trout fisherman is faintly horrifying to contemplate. Thus fiendishly qualified for a diplomatic career he instead has time only to fish. So lesser diplomats continue to grope and bumble and their countries continue to fall into war. The only hope for it all, I am afraid, is for the Lord to drive the trout fishermen into diplomacy, or else drive the diplomats to trout fishing. My guess is that either way we'd be more apt to have peace.: the fishermen-turned-diplomats would hurriedly resolve their differences on the trout stream so that they might return to their fishing, while the diplomats-turned-fishermen would shortly become so absorbed in their new passion they'd never again find time for war."

This is a book of stories. The titles give it all away: The First Day, The Trout Car, Back-Yard Trout Fishing and Trout Heaven. Traver’s style is relaxed and just generally good to read. Trout Madness sold so well that it was reprinted a couple of times, so I doubt you'll have too much trouble finding an inexpensive copy.