The Fly Fisher and the River

A Memoir

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About The Book

On angling as a woman in the first half of the twentieth century.

Like fast moving currents, the fishing tales in The Fly Fisher and the River move us through a selection of Max Atherton’s experiences both within rivers’ waters as well as at their outer edges. They remind us that alongside the (then-) radical environmentalist-explorer part of her, there was a playful joie de vivre, someone who appreciated the company of good-looking, intelligent outdoorsmen. Even before her husband’s death, Max enjoyed the attention she got as a fisherwoman. While she cherished a few female friendships, Max held the opinion that women did not generally engage their minds as much as they could and tended to settle for less in their lives than she was willing to. The men she liked—educated, with leisure time to fish—had more freedom and could have adventures and talk about ideas, politics, and the intricacies of fly fishing. This refined form of angling provided an escape from the mundane, and Max enjoyed the adrenaline rush of fishing and camping in the great outdoors as much as the meditative quiet time in nature. Her expertise provided the entrée she needed to thrive in a man’s world—a fact reflected in her writing about the joys of casting her lines into one river after another.

This timeless memoir published alongside The Fly and the Fish, John Atherton's, her husband's, memoir on angling and fly tying.

Skyhorse Publishing is proud to publish a broad range of books for fishermen. Our books for anglers include titles that focus on fly fishing, bait fishing, fly-casting, spin casting, deep sea fishing, and surf fishing. Our books offer both practical advice on tackle, techniques, knots, and more, as well as lyrical prose on fishing for bass, trout, salmon, crappie, baitfish, catfish, and more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Skyhorse (March 2016)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781634506472

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Raves and Reviews

"Maxine was well loved and respected by the fly fishing community. She helped pave the way for women anglers who came after her." --Joan Wulff

"Anglers of a certain age are likely familiar with artist John Atherton, his elegantly impressionistic dry flies and his elegant 1951 book The Fly and the Fish. Far less familiar is the elegant writing of his wife Maxine, a gifted angler in her own right, a friend of George La Branch and Edward Hewitt, and after John’s death an intrepid and often solo traveler, whether pursuing salmon and trout throughout Ireland, Norway, and Spain via train or into remote Labrador via ice breaker. With her candor, environmental insights, and sharp eye for the telling detail, Max Atherton can go head to head with any of today’s wide-traveling fly-fishing essayists. And she was doing it before most of them were born." --James R Babb, Editor Emeritus, Gray’s Sporting Journal

"Because of the The Fly Fisher and the River , we can now finally witness that Max was a kick-ass trailblazer . . . Max's voice is silenced no longer." --The American Fly Fisher

"Maxine was well loved and respected by the fly fishing community. She helped pave the way for women anglers who came after her." --Joan Wulff

"Anglers of a certain age are likely familiar with artist John Atherton, his elegantly impressionistic dry flies and his elegant 1951 book The Fly and the Fish. Far less familiar is the elegant writing of his wife Maxine, a gifted angler in her own right, a friend of George La Branch and Edward Hewitt, and after John’s death an intrepid and often solo traveler, whether pursuing salmon and trout throughout Ireland, Norway, and Spain via train or into remote Labrador via ice breaker. With her candor, environmental insights, and sharp eye for the telling detail, Max Atherton can go head to head with any of today’s wide-traveling fly-fishing essayists. And she was doing it before most of them were born." --James R Babb, Editor Emeritus, Gray’s Sporting Journal

"Because of the The Fly Fisher and the River , we can now finally witness that Max was a kick-ass trailblazer . . . Max's voice is silenced no longer." --The American Fly Fisher

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