Book Reviews | Visual Arts

No Need to Know Fly-Fishing to Like Dave Hall’s Moving Water

I like a man who fly-fishes; who has spent much of his life, “thigh deep in moving water.”

Don’t know much about fly-fishing, myself, though I know many who do and revel in its necessary quietude and Zen-like keen focus. Oh, and c’mon, can there be a better-named place than Last Chance, Idaho, to do it in?

I like a man who fly-fishes and paints landscapes.

Don’t paint at all myself, but I know many who do and this man paints delicately and evocatively and shares his spirit through his brushstrokes.

I like a man who fly-fishes, paints landscapes and plays cribbage.

My own grandfather taught me the game and we played every night after dinner. Author/artist Dave Hall plays along the riverbank with a friend when the weather turns nasty . . .

Floating the Madison Varney to Eight Mile

with Jules, we got caught in a brutal storm. We

beat it to shore and flipped the Avon raft over

us. We talked and laughed, played cribbage

and drank rum until the weather passed.


I like a man who writes a book about fly-fishing and cribbage and grandfathers and friendship and allows his words to be printed right over his excellent and evocative landscapes.

Because that decision indicates one is self-effacing but assured: those paintings are worth pondering.

Family art hung in our home – my father, a grandmother, a great,

great grandfather. These gifted artists gave me permission, I suppose,

to do what I do. And they’ve encouraged me in ways mysterious.

I like a book about fly-fishing and cribbage and friendship and family printed over paintings worth pondering where the consistently positive reviews on the back cover by people I admire like Jeff Metcalf and Melanie Rae Thon and Thomas McGuane may contain more words overall than does the book itself. When the paragraphs are succinct but well thought out and worth lingering over they are a pleasure to sit with.

The thing about fishing in Grizzly Country is this:

You’ve got your bear spray close but there’s still a

chance (small) you’ll get eaten.

I like a book that has binders beneath the dust jacket that are a rich gray and will look fine on your family’s shelf long after the jacket has crumbled into dust and so have you and you are remembered as the relative with exquisite taste who could appreciate Dave Hall’s Moving Water back in the day enough to treasure it even though you didn’t know much about fly fishing yourself.


Moving Water: An Artist’s Reflection on Fly Fishing, Friendship and Family
Dave Hall
Moving Water, LLC
Nov. 14, 2018
Hardcover $23.95

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