Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review- "Shin Deep" by Chris Hunt

Chris Hunt loves to fish, and he wants you to come with him.

Chris Hunt is the national communications director at Trout Unlimited.  With that kind of resume, I wasn't sure what to expect from his book "Shin Deep- A Fly Fishers Love of Moving Water".  Which school of fly fishing is he from?  Wearing tweed, throwing bamboo, and puffing a pipe?  Pushing the latest expensive gear while smoking a cigar?  Au contraire, I found this book to be refreshing, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Do you remember what it was like the first time your father or grandfather took you fishing?  Do you remember that almost animal pleasure of being on a trout stream, the youthful glee and excitement you felt in anticipation of an outing?  Do you remember the scent of watercress, spruce, cedar, and cold water, the smell of trout lingering on your hands?  Chris manages to capture all of this with an almost child-like enthusiasm.

In his book, Chris takes us across country, and through time, from his decision to retire from the newspaper business (an entirely entertaining intro to his book) to the present, and from his native Colorado, to his current Idaho, to Barataria to Virginia, in search of native natives.  He fishes back country, high country, and even right next to the interstate.  What comes through, is an overwhelming sense of his love of fishing, of the excitement we all feel when our boots first hit the river and and we strip out some line.  His stories wax, overtake you, and you will feel as if you are alone on his river, seeing it through your own eyes.  There's no posturing, just Chris (you), the river, and its denizens.  Later, as his story (yes, this is a life story in a way) progresses, we get to fish with his family, a touching series of vignettes (chapter 13 is particularly poignant),  coupled with real-life out-takes from the west- smoke lingers in the air, and bear tracks punctuate the scene, as Chris negotiates the back country with his kids, introducing them to the joys of clean water, and fishing off the beaten path for wild trout.

If you have the chance to go fishing with Chris Hunt, or just as well, read his book, then do so.  You can read most of his essays in ten minutes or less.  You will be that much the richer. In each story you will sense the excitement of approaching a river bank, rod in hand to the sounds of running water and the sight of rising fish.

Definitely add this to your book shelf and reading list.  You'll be glad you did.  I know I am.

To get your copy, click on the link here.  Go on, it's that good.

You can also keep up with Chris at his very popular blog Eat More Brook Trout.


  1. Jason... can't thank you enough for the kind review. Very much appreciated!

  2. Chris- I'm so glad I was able to. I will be re-reading this several times this winter, it will stay on the night stand.

  3. I've had the great fortune to both fish with Chris and read his book. The man's as genuine - and entertaining - as the essays you'll find in Shin Deep. And, for some perspective, shin deep on Chris is waist deep on the rest of us, both literally and figuratively.

    Good review Jason. And Yes Gary! to the big guy.

  4. Great review, can't wait to get my copy...Chris is a great guy, I have no doubt how the book will read.

    ha! well said Mike...

  5. You've just fueled my fire. I can't wait to receive this and read it mineself. Hopefully my progeny grasped the subtle hints I've been dropping for a Christmas present.