The Second Fly Caster: Fatherhood, Recovery and an Unforgettable Tournament

 

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Erik, a young boy, is proud that his father, the winner of several state championships, is probably the greatest long distance fly caster on earth. But then a threatening prelude and an unexpected outcome of a casting tournament leave Erik reeling with unanswered questions about what once seemed to be only a sport.

These questions linger and then, years later, deepen when Erik’s idealistic plans and actions are crushed when he experiences combat in the Vietnam War. He struggles, unsuccessfully, with his demons, until a seemingly accidental discovery lead him back to the ways and new meanings of fly casting. Through their prism Erik learns to see himself and the world in a forgiving light.

I’m a native New Yorker. After a good deal of disappointment, I gave up writing. Then my mother passed away, and I found that fishing helped ease my grief. Almost accidently, I wrote and sold a fishing article. Afterwards, my articles and memoirs appeared in many publications, including The Flyfisher, Flyfishing & Tying Journal and Yale Anglers’ Journal.

To me, much of my writing is about coming to terms with loss, and with a world I can’t always understand. In a sense, my writing is autobiographical, as it reflects my own gratifying, but at times, difficult journey of emotional and spiritual recovery.

On the long road of my journey, I slowly learned that, even when I don’t have answers, I must strive to find forgiveness and self-worth and to connect to the good and the beautiful in the world.

(This is how I define spirituality.)

I therefore love books where the main characters struggle against inner and outer conflicts and then try to do good.

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