Reviewed by Deanna Birkholm
Have you noticed the huge variation in writing styles,
especially in the fly fishing books written by men? Some
are very dry and scholarly, some very laid back (too much
so in fact) and some set your teeth on edge.
Fishing Passion is none of those. It is however, a true adventure
in life. The author Jim C. Chapralis does not record this as a
biography, but instead sub-titles his book "a lifelong love
affair with angling." Indeed it is.
His introduction to fishing came while a boy in Greece
reading a story about two kids who fished nearly every day
at a river in Northern Greece. They wanted to catch a
legendary trout that lived in these waters. He was six
or seven at the time, and he says, "somehow, I was hooked
His introduction to casting and fly fishing served him well,
he even entered and won an international distance casting
championship in Paris while serving in the Army. That opened
doors to set up facilities for our servicemen in Europe where
they could fish. When he returned he started a rod
manufacturing business, which though promising became
a nightmare of problems.
Eventually he found a niche where he could fish and develop a
successful travel business. Those stories, the places, people,
problems, and the solutions make this a passionate story about life.
Fishing just happened to be the beginning, middle and end.
Jim divides his book into six sections, which show the parallel
between romantic love and addicted angling. (The passion of course.)
There are: The innocent years, Early Flirtations, Flings and
infatuations, Lifelong commitments, Feelings, emotions &
relationships, and Regrets, hope and dreams. The Dedication
is a delight in itself - he lists all the major fish by name
and says, "and all the other wonderful species of fish, for
the countless hours of pleasure (and frustration) they've
provided us, and if it were not for them, our wonderful
world of angling would not exist."
Fly fishing does tend to run over into our everyday lives - but
for a lucky few, it becomes their lives. Jim C. Chapralis is
one of the lucky ones. He was able to chase some wonderful
dreams and have them materialize. Having spent a lifetime
traveling to fishy places he also knows where the dangers lie
for the resource. He also has a vision for the future.
There are plenty of adventures in Fishing Passion, some nearly
unbelievable - but they are true. Jim takes you to Angola in
search of giant tarpon (and the most unusually "outdoor beer garden"
found anywhere); to Panama where he and friends are held at bay
by a dozen guns; to Columbia where witch doctors practice their
medicine on injured anglers; and his favorite Wisconsin streams
only a few hours drive from his home.
Fishing Passion is a great read, well written, (without being
overly descriptive), each character and place come alive.
It is truly an exciting, passionate book about living ones
dream. ~ DLB
6.25" x 9.25"
Hardcover $24.95 US
Published by AnglingMatters Press
P.O. Box 4938
Skookie, IL 60076-4938