As Ted Leeson writes in the introduction, "...this book is an attempt to discover points of fixity and pattern in our involvement with rivers and landscapes, with trout and fly fishing, as a way of plumbing their peculiar sustaining power".
If this strikes you as so much hooey, you might as well stop right there on page 4 and cut your losses. There's a lot more of this kind of cerebral musing throughout The Habit of Rivers.
If on the other hand, cerebral musing is what overtakes you as you fish, or if you don't fish but you do tend to muse cerebrally just for the heck of it, then this book's for you, for sure.
Here's a sampler of what's in store...
* The river is a flux, the salmon a counterflux. To fish the run is to share this paradoxical trajectory, moving at once forward to a conclusion and backward toward sources.
* The universe may, as science tells us, be composed of subatomic building blocks, but I suspect that irony is the mortar that holds them together. For no apparent reason, fate springs a handstand, inverting circumstance, momentarily turning the world into its opposite. In nature, the reversal produces vaguely disturbing anomalies.
* The very boundedness of the meadow and the tangibility of its limits curls your awareness inward, creating a small enclosed world inside of which boundaries disappear.
If your awareness doesn't easily curl inward to recognize this as a book about fishing, pick up something by Lefty Kreh. As for me, I reveled in the vaguely disturbing anomalies, and highly recommend it to both fishermen and non fishermen alike.