Reading the Water
By Mallory Burton
Fiction, 256 pages, 5.5" x 8.5" softcover
Joining a handful of angling books written by women, Reading the Water: Stories and Essays of Flyfishing and Life is a collection of short stories featuring men and women who are affected by or swept away in the strong current of fishing’s allure. As Uncommon Waters editor Holly Morris writes in the introduction, "Teeming with new insights, and chock-full of fishing finesse, Mallory Burton's work has entertained angling devotees for years and added dimension and humor to flyfishing's trade magazines. Reading the Water is a choice compendium of essays and stories and a wonderful addition to the literature of flyfishing."
Canadian author Mallory Burton's fine balance of fly fishing observation and philosophical fiction "will take you deeper into the waters of flyfishing than just fish," says Marty Sherman of Flyfishing magazine. Joining the tide of women's interest in flyfishing, Burton's stories explore life's essential questions – work, politics, relationships and, of course, how to fish. She is "a woman who can fish with any [man] and who writes better," says Stephen Bodio of Fly Rod & Reel.
Like the title story itself, Reading the Water is a fine balance of expert flyfishing observation and philosophical fiction. Mallory Burton and her characters read the water for dangerous currents, hidden rocks, signs of elusive fish; she and her characters also read the politics of fishing, signs of a failing relationship, and the mysterious – sometimes fearful and sometimes absurdly humorous – drift of our own lives.
Originally from Boston, Mallory Burton is the daughter of a Canadian hockey player and fishing guide. She lives on the north coast of British Columbia where she is a teacher, linguist and school administrator. Her essays and fiction have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, including Fly Rod & Reel and Flyfishing. A serious fly fisher, she fishes coastal streams for salmon, steelhead and trout and makes pilgrimages to Montana each summer to thaw out and fish tiny dries.