Bruce Ajari: Local author’s book highlights art of fly fishing
A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to pick up a book from local Incline Village author Diane Inman. She had called and asked me if I would like to review a book of hers entitled, “The Fine Art of Angling.”
Inman had produced a book by gathering 10 of the most prestigious modern-day sporting (angling) artists in the country. In the book she tells us all about the artist and their work.
Inman grew up in Northern California in the period before catch-and-release angling became popular. She credits her affection for fly fishing to her father, brother and husband.
Many of the pieces are period pieces, and the angler’s catch is displayed while both freshwater and saltwater is represented.
I just finished the book and I want to share my experience with everyone. While I was not sure how much I would enjoy this book, the reservations that I had melted away as I began reading about the first artist and reviewed their work.
Each artist’s background was fascinating. They all had one thing in common, and that was their love of fly fishing and art. While each artist explored different mediums, their love of the sport shines through their work. Inman’s description of their art provides a great road map for the untrained reader’s eye.
Anyone who has fly fished can appreciate this book. Many of you have probably seen some of their work without evening realizing it. Their work appears in many of the major sporting magazines, such as Grays Sporting Journal, in the country.
Many of the scenes, though describing a location that the artist frequents, could be anywhere one has fished. I could certainly see myself in many of the paintings. Any fisherman can identify with this art.
The book blends art and the sport of fly fishing wonderfully. It is a wonderful piece of work. I was particularly drawn to the work of Mike Stidham, whom I met years ago at a fly fishing show. I particularly like his saltwater work in both watercolor and oils. I am sure that many have probably seen his freshwater etchings. Being a fly-tyer, my favorite is “Trout Flies,” where a plate of 23 classic dry flies is displayed.
“The Fine Art of Angling” is a beautiful hardbound book that is available in limited quantities in some of our local bookstores and retail outlets. It would make a very suitable gift for that special someone who fly fishes. It is a great addition to any library or for display on one’s coffee table.
– Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.