“...And it is here that I realize we had the same thread in our lives-that of land and wild country and wild trout. He may never have carried a shotgun or a rifle or a fly rod just for the fun of it out into that land, but the land was there and that was enough. The common bond of Western towns, open country not far away, the land. That is the thread that runs through our shared blood like a thin tight fly line thrown out over the water into a river of wild fish.” - Tom Reed, "Blue Lines"
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I pulled the book “Blue Lines” from the shelf and dusted it off. Somewhere between the move, changing jobs, trying to spend time on the water, work, and just about anything else that would occupy ones time, I finally sat down and read.
Tom Reed is a sportsman. A man so driven by spending time in the outdoors, that it is hard to distinguish whether or not his work is his play, or vise versa. Whether it’s the pull of the trigger over a twelve o’clock point, the release of a native trout high in the “Winds”, or a trip into the back country on pack horses, Tom is living his life exactly as he should, saddled to nothing other than the work that he loves and the life that he has chosen. We could all be so lucky.
“Blue Lines” is Tom’s story. A story that started in the Colorado high country learning to fly fish for trout in waters close to my home, and follows his path to becoming the sportsman he is today. There is no bullshit prose that masks his love for the places he seeks and the places he returns to, just damn fine writing that defines who he is. He writes of experience, and his essays should be consumed for what they are. “Blue Lines” is an escape into being the fly fisherman you wish you were, the outdoorsman you aspire to be, and the conservationist we seek to find within ourselves.
“Blue Lines” in my opinion, is what outdoor writing should be; honest, engaging, fast paced, and full of room for the reader to escape into the wild places in print, far from the “real world” from which they read. Tom has given himself to these stories, and thankfully, this book to us.
I just wish I would have dusted it off sooner.
*Tom Reed works for TU from Pony, Montana, and is the author of four books. For more information or to purchase a copy for yourself, check out his site at www.tomreedbooks.com. You won't be disappointed.