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Gord Deval.

Toronto, Simon & Pierre, c1983.
127pp, paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-88924-136-8.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Glenn P. Gerbrandt.

Volume 11 Number 5.
1983 September.

Fishin' Hats is a collection of fishing anecdotes. Many of the stories take place in Ontario and Quebec and involve the author's pursuit of two members of the char family, the lake trout and the eastern brook trout.

The print is large and easy to read. There are no illustrations except for the two photographs gracing the front and back covers, and a simple map of southern Ontario that locates the author's much talked about "hotspots." A list of characters is included, and it describes the major character's relationship to the author. A mtich needed glossary completes a rather disjointed format. The book, a soft cover, measures 5x8 inches, consists of 127 pages, and it lists for $7.95. It is not worth half that amount.

Gord Deval's credentials are listed on the back cover and include among others: holder of fifty-eight Canadian casting records, numerous radio and television appearances, and author of many outdoor articles for magazines and newspapers. There is no doubt that Deval comes well qualified to produce a book on the subject. However, it is not his knowledge or experience that is being questioned here, but his writing ability. His sentence structure is stilted and' confusing, and the number of misspelled words is appalling.

Gord Deval describes himself as a sportsman, and yet his tactics for catching trophy fish include stalking them as they lie in relatively shallow water protecting their redds. A redd is a narrow channel dug by the fish out of the streambed where they deposit their eggs during spawning. It is at this time that the fish are at their most vulnerable as they will strike at almost anything that ventures near the redd. Not the most sporting way to catch fish.

In summation, Fishin' Hats will be of interest only to those ardent readers of fishing literature who can overlook the book's poor grammar and numerous spelling mistakes. At one point, Gord Deval actually states (brags?) that he has caught over six thousand trout in his lifetime. He then adds, "Fishing, obviously, has been very,very good to me." Anyone remotely concerned with conservation has to wonder if Deval has been good for the fish!

Glenn P. Gerbrandt, Osprey Fly fishers of British Columbia, West Vancouver, BC.
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