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Hooked: Fly-fishing Through Russia [Paperback]

Fen Montaigne
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 1999
In the last days of the Soviet Union Fen Montaigne worked in Moscow as a staff correspondent for The Washington Post. Once back in the States, he longed to return, not least to a part of Russia unknown to him - the northern arc. With rivers and lakes in abundance he decided to indulge a passion and flyfish his way across the continent, from the Solovetsky Islands, 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle to the wilderness of the Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian far east. Like Paul Theroux (The Great Railway Bazaar) or Bruce Chatwin (In Patagonia) there was a sense of quest, a need to meet these wasteland inhabitants - these 'real Russians'. Fishing, he deduced, would also be a great adventure, as many of the rivers and lakes have been untouched by the kind of pollution that has wrecked the equivalent fishing in northern America. He was not disappointed. Hooked is a rich account of a rare journey

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (1 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753807300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753807309
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,525,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

Offbeat travel account based on a journey fly-fishing across the outmost northern reaches of Russia which also uncovers Soviet Russia's Gulag history.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More travel than fly fishing 30 Aug 2003
An entertaining book, but dont judge this book by its fishy cover or title - fly fishing plays a minor role in what is principly a travelogue. Unlike most travel adventures you read this book being glad you are NOT where the action is as Fen Montaigne struggles across the decaying and mostly drunken Russian countryside- allegedly in pursuit of fly fishing. I get the impression that, desperate for an angle [forgive the pun] on his travels his editor gave Fen a fishing rod and said - "Lets call it fly fishing across Russia- that ought to sell". Fen is by his own admission a mediocre fly man and there is very little about fishing here- certainly nothing that you could call instructive - condensing the 270 pages to those containing the word "fish" or "fly" and you wouldnt get more than a dozen.
However well written and certainly an eye opener about the chaotic state of modern Russia outside the big cities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where NOT to fish 18 May 2001
By A Customer
Fen Montaigne bravely crossed Russia in search of good fly fishing. His experiences recounted here show him to be intrepid and patient and determined. As he describes so well, most fish and fishing in Russia has fallen victim to outrageous environmental abuse or to the hunter gatherers who need to survive in this brave new post communist world. A survivor himself, he was lucky to complete his marathon journey without meeting an untimely end. The same is true of the Sturgeon, Taimen , Grayling and so many other fine species that human beings are rapidly destroying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A political statement 20 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is not a fishing book in any shape or form. It is a political statement.

The American author travels across Russia discovering how the country has been devastated by the conversion of the economy from communism to capitalism. Everywhere he goes he encounters people who were better off working for the state rather than being exploited or abandoned by the unregulated and corrupt private capitalists. His experiences have been corroborated in some ways by the recent TV series where two 'celebrities' crossed Russia on motorcycles and found the same type of hapless individuals existing in vodka-fueled poverty.

It is a sad experience to discover that this country is virtually rotting to destruction with its long-suffering people bearing the brunt yet again of massive government mis-management.

It also shows that we in the west never had anything to fear from the backward, technologically inept Russians during the Cold War years. They could hardly feed themselves let alone take over the world.

Don't buy this book for its angling content. It will break your heart. Buy it for its travelogue content. It will still break your heart, but at least you know what you are getting.
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