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Fishing the High Country

Fishing the High Country

The timeless story of an always-moving river.

From the first sentence, "I come from a long line of river people," to the last, "Bad luck to kill a moose bird," Wayne Curtis signals that this book occupies the territory of a classic, a lyrical memoir of a river and those who submit to its call.

New Brunswick's Miramichi River is one of the most entrancing salmon rivers in the world. In Fishing the High Country, Curtis has created what can only be described as a river masterpiece, a lyrical record of time and place, of those who are drawn to its side and those who cast their lines into its waters.

Drawing on his experience of life along the river — as a boy, as a young man, and as a river guide among guides, Wayne Curtis crafts the compelling memoir of this place, a high country where he spins his tales, casts his flies, and fishes the river and woods for his stories. The Miramichi vibrates in Curtis's bones. His cast of characters are earthy, whimsical, and wise. His eye for the telling detail and his rooted understanding of lives lived humbly will captivate readers with its near mystical blend of the mysteries of fly fishing and the affections of the heart.


Wayne Curtis was born in Keenan, New Brunswick, on the banks of the Miramichi River. He was educated at the local schoolhouse and at St. Thomas University. He started writing prose in the late 1960s. His essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Outdoor Canada, Fly Fishermen, and the Atlantic Salmon Journal.

"This gripping and beautiful book takes us deep into the forests and river valleys of one of our finest backwoods cultures. One trip to the Miramichi and you'll never forget its people and places. If you haven't stood alongside that river, Wayne Curtis's wise and gentle writing will make you want to go." — Jake MacDonald

"A story of love and passion. Wayne Curtis led me through rivers and people of memory, stirring strong sentiments in every chapter. This is a book for angling addicts who cast lines on any patch of water in reality and in dreams. It will be my go-to book any time I need my angling emotions stroked." — Katharine Mott

"What a joy this book is, full of affection for and a wise reflection on the river people, their angling guests, and the waters they shared in New Brunswick's high country, which Curtis has made his own. 'I can feel every word the great river laid upon us,' he writes and, in this memoir, Curtis gives us back those deep and shining words as a great and lasting gift." — Harry Thurston

216 pages
Pub date: October 16, 2018