ADDISON COUNTY — The latest book by Bristol resident and Addison Independent outdoor columnist Matthew Dickerson hit the shelves last week.
Dickerson describes “Downstream: Reflections on Brook Trout, Fly Fishing, and the Waters of Appalachia,” co-authored by David L. O’Hara, as a mosaic combining nature writing, fly-fishing narrative, memoir and philosophical and spiritual inquiry.
In the book, fly-fishing narratives and fragments of memoir provide the narrative arc for exploring relationships between humans and rivers, and the ways in which people’s attitudes and philosophies impact their practices and the waters human beings depend on for life. The authors guide their readers on a journey from Maine’s Androscoggin watershed — once one of the 10 filthiest rivers in the United States and now home to some of the best wild brook trout fishing in the United States — southward through Kentucky into Tennessee and North Carolina, where a native Southern strain of brook trout struggles to survive. Like the rivers themselves, the chapters alternate between flowing narratives and the stiller waters that settle out above dams.
While each stone in this mosaic is worth a close look in its own right, seen from a distance the book offers a broader picture of the cold mountain waters of Appalachia and their famous native fish: the brook trout.
Dickerson has been writing a bi-weekly column on fishing, hunting, skiing and other outdoor activities for two decades. He has published more than half a dozen books and has four shorter ones due out in the next three years. They will cover fly fishing, trout and ecology. The next one, called “Trout in the Desert,” should be coming out in March of 2015.