"As I coaxed the fly closer into the sweet spot I tightened up. Even though I was fishing -- and fishing is supposed to be relaxing -- still I was tense. I had been relaxed earlier: the inviting blue-green color of the water, its white chop over the slick rocks, the darkness of its pools, the banks thick with willows and grasses, the bright autumnal sky. But now, I was tight as a drum, yearning, hoping that I would connect with something wild. The contemplative man, the Izaak Walton type of man, had vanished and in its place was the alert man, expectant, ready to pounce."
In this book about well-known (and some not-so-well-known) Western waters Alkire blends how-to, where-to, and natural history with lyrical prose and a deep insight that comes only with knowing a place well. From rainforest rivers to desert rivers, from tidal rivers to those along the Continental Divide, he has waded and fished those waters over the decades. Along with his fishing adventures, the book also looks at the geography, the early explorers of, and the modern-day impacts on those rivers.
Published by Stackpole Books in 2019, Western Waters is available at your local bookstore or through the Internet.
"Take your time and enjoy every page with Tom as he takes you on a wonderful trip along his favorite Western waters from the Pacific Coast to the Rocky Mountains".
Rick Hafele, coauthor The Complete Book of Western Hatches
"Tom captures and releases many good fish in this book, but more importantly he captures and then release to us his feelings and insights and discoveries about the magnificent streams his fishy curiosity bathes him in."
Frank Amato, publisher Frank Amato Publications
"I have enjoyed Tom's writing for years. Western Waters contains rich stories imbued with Tom's unique sense of place, a deep appreciation of history, and special love for the sport of fly fishing."
Craig Schuhmann, editor Flyfishing & Tying Journal
"Tom Alkire has captured the true essence of our western rivers and watersheds. Sharing his first-hand knowledge will be an inspiration to everyone who reads this book."
Sherry Steele, president Oregon Council of Fly Fishers International
Sometimes meditative, other times humorous, these stories will delight readers who like rivers, fishing and the out-of-doors. The stories flow through the book, beginning from glacial headwaters and alpine creeks to the sea. Chapters include fishing on spring creeks and on raucous whitewater rivers. Sometimes lyrical and other times practical, these stories include fishing for steelhead, trout, bass, salmon, halibut, snook and tarpon.
The waters in the stories are from California to Alaska and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Rockies. The people populated in the pages include crusty flyfishermen, homesteaders, Rudyard Kipling, Gonzalo Pizarro, Izaak Walton, dorymen and ghosts. All of these narratives are true, or at least as truthful as a fisherman is capable of.
"A great read for those who enjoy well-written essays about flyfishing and rivers."
Scott Richmond, Westfly, an on-line flyfishing website.
"The pieces vary from historical sketches to rather philosophical ruminations to outright fishing tales and all retain the author's highly readable style."
Preston Singletary, Flyfishing and Tying Journal
"The author is Tom Alkire, a name that is familiar to many of our readers...I especially enjoyed his account of fishing for winter steelhead on the Hoh River in western Washington.
Neil M. Travis, FlyAnglers Online
In this book time spent catching fish is only the kernel of the fishing experience. Surrounding those moments are months of anticipation and years of memories. It is about friendships, getting to know a home water and distant waters, about food and drink at fishing camp, about the workings of the natural world, about fishing as youngsters and as old-timers, about fishing nights in front of the fireplace and about how the act of fishing leads to the angler's infamous disregard for the truth.
Published by Frank Amato Publications in 2000, There's More To Fishing (Than Catching Fish) is out of print but a limited number of hardback copies are still available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
"The author is highly perceptive with great humor. He writes with grace of the natural world which functions according to its own timeless rhythms...It is a book from the heart, one I could not put down."
Deanna Birkholm,Fly Anglers OnLine
"Alkire manages to tell stories that are not only personal, but universal as well. In the process, he says quite a lot about the camaraderie of sportsmen, the unwritten code of the river and our relationship with nature."
John Schrag, Willamette Week
"We need more of this kind of writing about fishing."
Dave Hughes, Author of Western Hatches and Trout Flies.