Rod Rage

Reviewed by Glen Zinkus

This book ought to be required reading for any angler casting a fly on our ever more popular waters.

Rod Rage is a series of essays, vignettes, some anecdotal stories, and other pieces. This book is a collective effort by author and editor Rhea Topping, with contributions by more than 60 authors and anglers, including such well-known names such as Cathy and Barry Beck, Flip Pallot, Ray Bergman, Joan Wulff, Bob Clouser, Thomas McGuane, Ernest Schwiebert, Gary LaFontaine, and many others.

What's Up With This Book on Angling Ethics

Rod Rage opens with Historical Contributions, and follows with an up-to-date Modern Sensibilities. Other sections include treatises on ethics for Oceans, Flats and Saltwater, Boats and Guides, Salmon and Steelhead, Fishing Fine and Far Off, and A Way of Life. These sections include brief chapters by the contributors and cover subjects as wide ranging as dogs and fishing through the guide-client relationship. This breadth makes the book interesting and can provide some perspective for anyone anywhere.

A traveling angler may find this book useful and educational, particularly when fishing waters away from home for the first time. Local customs and traditions dictate ethics appropriate to these waters. The Fishing Fine and Far Off section includes pieces on the United Kingdom and other European destinations, Eastern Canada, Chile and Argentina, New Zealand, and Japan.

Rod Rage is the Real Deal

Rod Rage can have different meaning to different readers, so there may not be any story that sums up the book. Like author and Boston-based fly tier extraordinaire Jack Gartside writes in his letter to Rhea Topping, some readers may just decide to "never fish in a situation where etiquette would be required."

Rod Rage is a good read, well organized, and thought provoking. It brings entertainment and education into one package so readers can learn a lesson while enjoying themselves.

This book lives up to its subtitle, An Ultimate Guide to Angling Ethics.

Glenn Zinkus is an avid angler from Oregon. When not engaged in piscatorial pursuits, he may be finding birds behind his Brittanies; or attending to business that often has him traveling. While traveling he lives vicariously through the Westfly contributors.