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Fishing for More: A Memoir


Loved it! 😍

A skillful woven Norman Mclean-ish memoir illustrates how and why fishing can help heal body, mind, and soul.

“The answer is simple: cast a line.”

“I thought my little dude just wanted to catch fish,” writes the author as he launches into the story of how and why he left Corporate America to become a professional fishing guide. “But it turns out he was searching for much more than that.” Just like this book is about a lot more than catching fish.

What follows is a tightly written, finely crafted journey of self-discovery describing how the author reconnects with his “young, adventurous fisherman-self,” remembers how he lost him, and “discovers what it means to find him back.” It includes memories of his grandparents and the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dinners at the A&W and staying at the Super 8 Motel. You can’t swim on a fishing trip! Family photos. Visions of “trophy walleyes.” Brothers. His dad, the author’s “action hero” of his childhood. “Can of corn” bait fishing. (Who knew?)

The author goes on to chronicle the fall-out from his parents’ divorce and the “complicated relationship” with his mom. How forgiveness can be a powerful antidote to pain. How letting go of the past can leave you open to a brighter future. The difference between teaching a person to fish and just catching fish for them. Most of all, how fishing helped with his remembering and sharpened his ability to focus on deeper parts of himself.

“Be on. Oh, please be on!”

“I don’t want to be professional; I want to be real” writes the author at one point in this fresh and entertaining read. So there’s an openness and an authenticity to the narrative that’s both bracing and refreshing. The style is warm and welcoming. Like you’re sharing conversation over a cup of coffee with an old friend.

I passed this title over several times before I finally decided to pick it up. That’s because the Memoir/Biography genre can be like navigating a mine field. You never know what you’re getting into. Or what you may step on. When I came across this title again, I was looking out the window at a winter hailstorm. Wishing for summer. So I grabbed this title and a hot cuppa and dove in.

Laced with gentle self-deprecating humor, keen insight, and skillfully painted word pictures of life both on and off the water, Fishing for More emerges as a Norman Mclean-ish account of how fishing can help heal body, mind, and soul. It took me back to long-ago mornings in a boat with my dad, watching the sun rise while waiting for fish to bite. Sweet.

And a river runs through it.

Reviewed by

Lifelong bibliophile. Library Board Member. Select book reviews featured on my blog, Goodreads, and Amazon. I'm a frank but fair reviewer, averaging 400+ books/year in a Wide Variety of genres on multiple platforms. Over 940 published reviews.


About the author

Brett is an author of memoir, essay, and other nonfiction. He left his fourteen-year career as an investment professional to become a full-time fishing guide on Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota, where he spends half the year. He spends his winters in Iowa focusing on writing and his YouTube channel. view profile

Published on September 01, 2021

Published by

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

Reviewed by