Author and Journalist

About Tom Alkire


Tom Alkire has been trying to figure out why we try to outwit simple-minded fishes with hook and line.  After more than 40 years of writing, he has not yet found the answer.  All the  same, his writing examines the magic of fishing on rivers, lakes and saltwater from his home waters to distant waters.

Tom grew up in the Pacific Northwest where a number of cold, clean rivers flow into the Columbia River.  And where there are rivers there are fish.  He learned how to thread an earthworm on a hook early on and had his own worm bed in the family's backyard.  Trout, perch, smallmouth bass, steelhead and salmon were the staple in those days where he fished with his father, brothers and friends.  As he got older he graduated from being a worm dunker to a fly fisherman.  

After  graduating from the University  of Washington with degrees in English and History, Tom got married and lived in Seattle.  He worked as a bartender, ship scaler, hot tar roofer and at several non-profit groups where he edited newsletters.  After moving to Oregon he became an editor at a weekly newspaper, worked as a freelancer and then was hired as a staff correspondent with Bloomberg BNA, a national business publisher, where he worked for many years.  Over the years, Tom and his wife watched their son and daughter grow up in Portland, Ore. where they all enjoyed the western outdoors.  

All the while Tom continued to  write about fishing, rivers and the natural world.  He has found it enthralling and humbling to try and express through words the fishing experience, its rivers, fish and landscape.  The fishing experience is three-dimensional but the words on the page are not: they are flat, scattered about on the page and to attempt to write about it is to try and enliven those words and create something in the reader's mind that is real and ethereal at once.  

​Tom's outdoor writing has been published in a wide range of national and regional publications including Gray's Sporting Journal, Sporting Classics, Flyfishing &Tying Journal, Salmon Trout and Steelheader and Willamette Week.His three books have been well received by anglers and non-anglers alike.  His writing has been awarded by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Newspaper Guild and other institutions.  His letters -- including published and unpublished writing -- are housed in a fly fishing special collection at the Montana State University Library