Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

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Hellmtflies
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Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#1

Post by Hellmtflies »

As always I'm way behind in my reading. So once again I reached for a book off of the top of the pile of unread books in the closet that I was meaning to get to as soon as I finished the one I was currently in the middle of. Well, time passes and the pile of books just seems to get taller and taller every time I open the closet door. Shameful I know. Some times I think it's because many of the angling books I read are simply a rewrite of a dozen others that I have read over the years and I find it hard to get enthusiastic about cracking open another. But that said this time I scored. I started "Upland Stream" by Wetherell the other day. Not only was this one of the most well written angling books that went beyond the simple act of fishing and why or how to. It kept me striving to get to the next page as the content was some of the most thought provoking text I've come across in quite some time. Wetherell has a way of saying the same thing others have said but in a way that magnifies and expands the thought's idea and calmly has me asking myself what became of the literal sense of the idea he writes about. He causes me to attempt to interpret his words and statements so that I can fully understand the content of his idea. He makes me think! He engages me as one or two of my college professors did a hundred years ago. Refreshing to a point of wonderment and simply enlightening. I see this as a wonderful read and for those who haven't read this I encourage you to do so. For those of you who have indulged in this work your thoughts? Please comment.
Mark

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reelytrout
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#2

Post by reelytrout »

You will have to add to the closet pile. Wetherell has three more fishing related titles!

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quashnet
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#3

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W.D. Wetherell is a writer first and a fisherman second, which is the order of priorities that results in a great angling book. His first (and best, in my opinion) fishing book is Vermont River (1984). You don't need to have fished within a thousand miles of Vermont in order to enjoy these essays centered around the author's experiences living in a small New England town and fishing a nearby, not-at-all famous stream that goes unnamed in the book. Wetherell's status as an author was such that Reader's Digest reprinted one of the chapters, unheard of for a fishing book and probably leading to unexpectedly high sales. I wrote a review of Vermont River for Flyfishing magazine, and the author was kind enough to write and thank me, and we corresponded a bit thereafter. When Upland Stream was being readied for publication, Wetherell recommended me to the publisher as an illustrator for the book who not only had the requisite drawing skills but also was a fly fisher and knew the subject matter. The publisher turned down this idea with the reasoning that they could get another artist who was much better known in the world of book illustration. That's what they did, and so you will note that the cover art for Upland Stream shows an angler wading in a small stream while using a heavy baitcasting outfit, with even more baitcasting rods piled up in the foreground of the image. We got a bit of a rueful laugh from this outcome.
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#4

Post by norcal_1 »

in 2018, the author published a trilogy of all three of his most famous fly fishing books.....you can find them used on Amazon for very little money and this 668 page compilation includes a new introduction by the author describing what was behind all the books

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/15107 ... UTF8&psc=1

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16parachuteadams
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#5

Post by 16parachuteadams »

Read and loved his books when they first appeared, so many of the things he wrote about are mirrored in the Appalachian region that I fish as my 'home water'. Great writing.

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creakycane
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#6

Post by creakycane »

Walt's book on Yellowstone Autumn is worth a good, long look, too.

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Hellmtflies
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#7

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creakycane wrote:Walt's book on Yellowstone Autumn is worth a good, long look, too.
"OK" Thanx. I'll check it out.

PT48
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#8

Post by PT48 »

I read an on-line synopsis of Yellowstone Autumn. Seems that just shy of 55 Mr Wetherell went to Yellowstone to fish and contemplate the fact that the rest of his life was now in free-fall. That got me, ordered a copy straight away.

Edward Pirie
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#9

Post by Edward Pirie »

Hi, I had to re-register as I lost my password - so I have a new account as Edward Pirie, but it is still me.

Walt Wetherell's book, "Vermont River" is my home stream. "Home," in that I live across the road from the upper reaches of the Waits River, and this is the Vermont river featured in the book. I merely have to walk across the road, pick up the old logging road in back of the church cemetery, and follow the logging road down to the brook, about a hundred yard walk. The upper reaches of the Waits River are what we call a "brook." It is a beautiful stream, and very good native brook trout fishing. The State of Vermont does not stock the Waits River above East Corinth as it is native brook trout water and self-sustaining. The lower half of the Waits River from East Corinth to Bradford gets stocked with Rainbows. There are some nice browns in there too, but I do not believe the browns have been stocked for many years. The upper reaches of the Waits River are truly an "upland stream" all the way to its sources in the Knox Mountains. Mr. Wetherell has named favorite pools and stretches that are unique to him. I always am trying to match his named pools and stretches with what I know.

Ed Pirie
West Topsham, Vermont

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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#10

Post by PYochim »

Ed, thanks for your perspective on this.

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ctwhite
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#11

Post by ctwhite »

quashnet wrote:When Upland Stream was being readied for publication, Wetherell recommended me to the publisher as an illustrator for the book who not only had the requisite drawing skills but also was a fly fisher and knew the subject matter. The publisher turned down this idea with the reasoning that they could get another artist who was much better known in the world of book illustration. That's what they did, and so you will note that the cover art for Upland Stream shows an angler wading in a small stream while using a heavy baitcasting outfit, with even more baitcasting rods piled up in the foreground of the image. We got a bit of a rueful laugh from this outcome.
Back in another life I was an art director/designer. I always enjoyed previewing and hiring artists. One of my favorites being Michael McCurdy, the woodcut/scratchboard artist featured on the cover of the Wetherell book. In addition to being a fine human being, he was extraordinarily talented. His legacy as a notable American artist is secure. But, yeah, the bait casting reels and tackle box. The publishers fail...

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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#12

Post by Eperous »

Mark, I have/read three books by W.D. Wetherell, and enjoyed each one....

Ed

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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#13

Post by Silver rat »

Sounds like a keeper. I ordered my copy after reading several of the posted comments.

PT48
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#14

Post by PT48 »

Some comments on "Yellowstone Autumn." This memoir is particularly pertinent if you turned 55 in October, 2003, as I did, or if you recently turned 55. It also has enhanced meaning if you have visited YNP. So, do as I am doing, get out your map of YNP (thankfully mine has the route of the Washburn Expedition superimposed on to it) and travel with Wetherell as he explores, not only just the wonders of the park and its fishing, but what it means to enter "late middle age" with all of its attendant complications and consequences. Challenging in places but highly recommended. People like hellmtflies, who know YNP well, can probably dispense with the map.

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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#15

Post by CouleeCountryCane »

ctwhite wrote:
quashnet wrote:When Upland Stream was being readied for publication, Wetherell recommended me to the publisher as an illustrator for the book who not only had the requisite drawing skills but also was a fly fisher and knew the subject matter. The publisher turned down this idea with the reasoning that they could get another artist who was much better known in the world of book illustration. That's what they did, and so you will note that the cover art for Upland Stream shows an angler wading in a small stream while using a heavy baitcasting outfit, with even more baitcasting rods piled up in the foreground of the image. We got a bit of a rueful laugh from this outcome.
Back in another life I was an art director/designer. I always enjoyed previewing and hiring artists. One of my favorites being Michael McCurdy, the woodcut/scratchboard artist featured on the cover of the Wetherell book. In addition to being a fine human being, he was extraordinarily talented. His legacy as a notable American artist is secure. But, yeah, the bait casting reels and tackle box. The publishers fail...
My late wife and I met Michael once in his studio; I had several of his books, and had long appreciated his work. Things were pretty far along with him at that point, and he could not speak, but he walked us around as we looked at some originals he had done for an edition of *Walden* and other books, and at work in progress. I so respected that he kept working until he could do so no more. What a gentle, gifted man! And a belated +1 for Walt Wetherell: as you say, quashnet, a writer first and a fisherman next, making for the best writing about fly fishing.

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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#16

Post by Drossi »

norcal_1 wrote:in 2018, the author published a trilogy of all three of his most famous fly fishing books.....you can find them used on Amazon for very little money and this 668 page compilation includes a new introduction by the author describing what was behind all the books

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/15107 ... UTF8&psc=1
I tore through the trilogy back in the fall when I was on injured reserve and couldn’t fish. Loved it. It was interesting to see the sublime changes in his style and views as he aged through each of the books. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Bismarck, his inflatable raft.

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Eperous
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#17

Post by Eperous »

PT48 wrote:Some comments on "Yellowstone Autumn." This memoir is particularly pertinent if you turned 55 ... if you have visited YNP.
I agree, and purchased/read this book based upon this thread... I found it an enjoyable read, but probably more cause I'm 17 years over 55 and have fished YNP mentioned, associating with the author's story/travels.... but don't expect a lot of fishing prose in the read, else one might be disappointed....

Ed

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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#18

Post by PT48 »

I was finally able to acquire and read all of Wetherell's books on trout fishing. Strange that I had not heard about this writer's output before, because he makes an outstanding contribution to the genre. One River More, which I particularly enjoyed, was his last trout fishing book (yes, it does contain some bass fishing) and I am left wondering why this is the case. He seemed to become more and more concerned about the state of the environment. Could it be that the Vermont and New Hampshire fisheries were falling into significant decline and he found this dispiriting or perhaps he just went back to fiction? I would rate him up there with Geirach, Leeson, Traver and the other leading modern American fishing writers. The trilogy is an absolute bargain as well.

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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#19

Post by canogacreek »

Thanks for your comments on this author, he is one that I had missed out on. Just started reading Upland Stream and I am impressed. I definitely will read more of Wetherell's books.
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LeoCreek
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Re: Upland Stream by W.D. Wetherell, 1991

#20

Post by LeoCreek »

Really enjoyed Upland Stream and Vermont River as well, but have to say that One River More was my favorite Wetherell book.

On a side note, I purchased a fiberglass fly rod from Walter a year or so ago, and it makes me smile every time I get it out. Very nice man and talented writer.

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