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Mayse, Arthur
Madeira Park (B.C.), Harbour Publishing,
1993. 250pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 1-55017-083-X. CIP

Subject Headings:
Mayse, Amos William.
Fly fishing-British Columbia-Vancouver Island.
Mayse, Arthur, 1912-1992-Family.

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up

Reviewed by Val K. Lem

Volume 22 Number 1
1994 January / February

The purchase of a creel at an auction launched eleven-year-old Arthur and his clergy father Amos William Mayse on a most absorbing pastime: fishing for trout. With coaching from friendly anglers, the author became a dedicated fly fisherman and tyer of flies, but his father remained a worm-and-hook enthusiast. The Oyster river in northern Vancouver Island became their favourite haunt, even after the family moved from Nanaimo to Vancouver.

With humour, compassion and considerable skill, Mayse interweaves details of his father's life into re-creations of expeditions the two made to the river over a thirty-year period. The elder Mayse emerges as a simple, caring man who often found himself at odds with quarrelsome congregations. Fishing was his inexpensive pleasure in life. Outdoor enthusuasts will enjoy tales of the land and wildlife encountered, including close calls with bears, sharks and a half-wild bull, and of course a warm ac count of a big one that gotaway.

In the afterword, Susan Mayse reflects on the grandfather she never knew. She continues the story of the Oyster River's central place in her father's life and his own cathartic experience of fishing.

Recommended leisure reading for all anglers and outdoor types. A must for all B.C. residents who enjoyed Mayse's long-running column in a Victoria newspaper.

Val K. Lem is a librarian with the Board of Education fo r the City of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario

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