Book Review: Headwaters by Dylan Tomine

It often seems that every angler has plenty of stories to tell — sometimes too many. “Fishing stories” is a term that often has negative connotations, and we’ve all probably heard many fishing stories that are filled with exaggerations, half-truths, ego, and often the lack of a compelling story as the storyteller inevitably just recounts an experience with a big fish.

Dylan Tomine’s new book, Headwaters: The Adventures, Obsession, and Evolution of a Fly Fisherman, is something very different. In this new book from Patagonia Books, Tomine takes the reader on a journey — his journey as an angler — through compelling stories that ultimately reveal his growth as an angler and a person.

Dylan Tomine is known for calling it like he sees it. And throughout the book, he tells stories with humility and honesty that certainly raises an eyebrow as he describes how his obsession for fishing may have, at times, clouded his moral reasoning and judgement. He calls himself out. It’s funny, relatable, and it might make you ask yourself what fishing is all about. This is how fishing stories ought to be. After all, what is usually most interesting about fishing is not the fish but rather the experience and where fishing takes us.

Tomine might be on the radar of many for his writing about environmental issues and his involvement in films such as DamNation and Artifishal. Tomine isn’t afraid to tell the ugly truth about the ecological crises we currently face. The latter chapters of this book bring the reader into these issues and look less at where we’ve been and more at the present state of things and where we are headed. And perhaps it is here where we take up the journey with Tomine.

To learn more about Headwaters: The Adventures, Obsession, and Evolution of a Fly Fisherman by Dylan Tomine, please click here.

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