Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Okay, it's not wingshooting but... bears mentioning nonetheless.  There oughta be an award or something given to Tosh Brown and Departure Publishing for bringing back my favorite fishing book.  It had been out of print for about twelve years when I first heard of it, then it took almost two more to find an affordable copy on the used market.  And it still wasn't cheap.  Now Tosh has partnered with the author to publish it in ebook format for less than the price of a movie ticket.

The book is Marquesa: A Time & Place With Fish by Jeffrey Cardenas, his story of a month spent alone on a houseboat in the Marquesas off of Key West.  In the late summer of 1994, Cardenas slowly motored a houseboat towing his flats skiff across the Boca Grande Channel and anchored in the uninhabited atoll.  Excepting a few visits from friends, he was alone with the sea and his thoughts, passing the time snorkeling, fishing or just watching the goings-on in his new neighborhood.  The story is perceptive, reflective, enlightening and completely enjoyable. Replete with the harsh realities and irreplaceable wonders of nature it shares one common flaw with any good book you've ever read: at the end you find yourself wanting more.

Every now and then I wish I could live a series of decades in my twenties.  Maybe three or four and then turn sixty having done all of the things I couldn't fit into a single decade and couldn't pull off in the succeeding ones.  Granted that wish, this adventure would be on page one of the program.  Solitude and the outdoors always adjust perspective and immersion on this level has the potential to be life-changing.  Or merely euphoric, depending on where you started.

If you like fishing - especially saltwater fishing - do yourself a favor and trade some pocket change for this book.  In case you haven't clicked on it already, here's the link:


  1. I have made the run in a flats skiff from KW to the Marquesas. It is a remarkable place to fish and one of the best places in the world for large permit on the fly. Cardenas' life aboard the houseboat staked-off in the center lagoon is a day dream come true.

  2. A good read indeed, Mark.

    Thanks for posting this, I'll pull my copy off the shelf for a re-read.