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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: 1,405,670 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into Russia today. 8 Dec 1998
By A Customer
In many ways a very depressing book both in terms of Fen Montaigne's seemingly endless quest to find unpolluted, unpoached, and attractive fly fishing water which holds fish worth catching and also in terms of the hopelessness of Russian society in a post-perestroika age. Nevertheless it is fascinating and the author has a great humanising and selfless touch. His adventures in travelling from the original Gulag archipeligo across Russia to the Pacific ocean, interspersed with the occasion fishing foray (largely unsuccessful !), will command the reader's admiration for Montaigne's physical fitness. Who can imagine eating the food he describes or enduring the company of the succession of drunken freeloaders he meets ?
Great book. I loved it. What a passion he has for fly fishing !
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