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The Optimist cover art

The Optimist

By: David Coggins
Narrated by: Stephen Graybill, David Coggins - afterword
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Summary

An “excellent” (The New York Times) modern tribute to an ageless pastime, and a practical guide to the art, philosophy, and rituals of fly fishing, by an expert, lifelong angler.

In The Optimist, David Coggins makes a case for the skills and sensibility of an enduring sport and shares the secrets, frustrations, and triumphs of the great tradition of fly fishing, which has captivated anglers worldwide.

Written in wry, wise, and keenly observed prose, each chapter focuses on a specific place, fish, and skill. Few individuals, for example, have the visual acuity required to catch the nearly invisible bonefish of the Bahamas flats. Or the patience to land the elusive Atlantic salmon, “the fish of a thousand casts,” in eastern Canada. Pursuing these challenges, Coggins, “a confirmed obsessive,” travels to one fishing paradise after another, including the great rivers of Patagonia, private chalk streams in England, remote ponds in Maine, and New York City’s Jamaica Bay. In each setting, he chronicles his fortunes and misfortunes with honesty and humor while meditating on how fishing teaches focus, inner stillness, and a connection to the natural world.

Perfect for the novice, the enthusiastic amateur, and the devoted angler alike, The Optimist offers a practical path to enlightenment while providing “a rueful, thoughtful, and very funny examination of an elegant obsession” (Jay McInerney).

©2021 David Coggins. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Lovely story, beautiful descriptions

I really enjoyed listening to this book. As a beginner fly-fisherman I found the descriptions and the stories almost meditative in nature, as if I was sat on the riverbank watching. Loved it.

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Fabulous

A great book read by a narrator that fits perfectly. A definite for any fisherman and highly recommended to anyone else!

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An Unexpected Treat

A beautiful ode, not just to fly fishing, but to travel. Loved the pace of the stories, which feel like you're taking your own fishing break. Expertly narrated too. Highly recommended.

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