The Trout Whisperers

Reviewed by Moon Mullen

What do you do when you review a book you're not convinced is as funny as others have reported? How do you know it's not just you?

I found this book okay. I just didn't think it was as funny as others say. So I'll repeat what others have written, then give you my opinion and let you come to your own conclusion:

  1. "A hilarious and quixotic adventure of two men looking for purpose in the pursuit of a speckled fish. A much needed parody of the fly-fishing obsessed." --James Prosek
  2. "A pleasantly meandering excursion that packs more than its share of belly laughs." --Publishers Weekly


The story line

The Trout Whisperers follows the adventures--or rather misadventures--of Louis and Raul, two eccentric fly fishermen. They are on their 25th annual fishing and camping trip to Montana and are searching for a mythic unspoiled trout stream.

As the book opens, they are about to take a full-day float trip on the Beaverhead River with a long-time friend. The friend bails out, and the two go anyway. Soon they meet up with a high-strung yoga instructor, Lottie, and her little but flatulent dog.

This is where the book gets better, at least for me. Lottie's big impact on the two buddy's long relationship leads them to the brink of discovering the mythic stream, and eventually into the long arm of the law.


When I got my next four books to review from The Fuzz, I was very excited about this one and set it aside to read last. I love humorous writings about the outdoors, especially fly fishing.

Maybe that's the problem. Maybe I had held my impatience in check to read this book for so long it never had a fair chance to measure up.

And maybe that's another problem: I am trying to hold this book to the standards of others like Rich Tosches book Zipping My Fly.

Another problem for me was the review by Publishers Weekly, where they said "packs more than its share of belly laughs." When I think of belly laughs, the first thing that jumps to my mind is Patrick F. McManus. Ok, so this was no McManus--but I grant it was well written, humorous, and enjoyable enough.

I'm glad I read it; I think I just anticipated it to be more than what it was. Maybe if I knew what the hell "quixotic" meant I'd think it more worthy.

Moon Mullen and his wife Monica live in Springfield, Oregon, where they can often be found fly fishing the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.