● "THE HUNT is one of the great fly fishing classics
of all time…...unbelievably good work."
Rich Hosley, Southern Oregon Fly Fishing Club
DOPAP book review, Russell Thornberry, DOPAP Founder and Publisher
● “…Gorgeous stuff, richly presented …I could see keeping THE HUNT close by, not just for the pleasure I’d find flipping through it, but for the occasional moments when somebody suggests they can’t quite fathom what a fly-fishing obsession is all about. I’d hand it to them, with a smile. ‘It’s THE HUNT,’ I might say; or wiser yet, let them see for themselves.”
Book review by Seth
Norman, Fly Rod and Reel magazine.
Many are familiar with the photographic prowess of R. Valentine Atkinson. Nick Lyons said of him in the forward to Atkinson’s book The Greatest Fly Fishing Around the World (Lyons Press, 2003), “What I love most, I think, is that Val’s eye catches the quintessential moments of fly-fishing.” It was praise of this magnitude that went through my mind when I spied that Atkinson had consented to write the forward to Scott and Don Muelrath’s new book THE HUNT – Fly Fishing’s Greatest Adventures. I would imagine that Mr. Atkinson does not lend his name lightly, and so therefore my expectations of this coffee-table book (penned and photographed by father and son) were high.
The book is a handsome volume indeed. The dust jacket carries a photograph of a magnificent Labrador brook trout at its center surrounded by a hunter-green frame. This cover, however, serves as only a prelude for the compelling array of images contained in the pages to follow. Set some time aside, sit back in your favorite comfy chair and prepare to enjoy a visual feast. Scott and Don Muelrath transport the reader through their lens to the fish and waters of some nine countries in their pursuit of tarpon, trout (brown, cutthroat, brook and rainbow), bonefish, permit and other saltwater inhabitants. Each species has a chapter devoted to it in which the text accompanies a series of full-page photographs. From the mottled and subdued hues of an early morning in New Zealand to the iridescent and expansive bonefish flats of Ascension Bay, the photographs resonate with an informed vitality.
Overall I’d be taxed to reach for a more enjoyable read. However, a couple of small quibbles come to mind. While much of the writing is informative and entertaining, there are instances where text impinges upon the subject of the picture. With photographs of this quality I’d rather concentrate on the quarry and have the text appear less conspicuously. Also, a technique employed with varying degrees of success was to use a “picture in a picture” whereby a single or succession of smaller pictures would be inset in a full or double-page photograph. In some instances, these frames were beneficial in providing additional information or portraying sequence of events – in others, they interfered by disturbing the visual harmonics. The good news is that the authors offer large-size prints of most of the photos in THE HUNT, and they are available printed either on quality print paper or canvas. So, should you spot a photograph in this book that you find particularly stunning (and you would be hard pressed not to) you can order it directly from the Muelraths. All of the necessary contacts for doing that are in the book.
As the saying goes,
the devil is in the details, and THE HUNT contains some really nice
touches. As one opens the cover, the reader is greeted by a double-page
layout of a close-up photograph of the flank of a tarpon. The intricate
symmetry is displayed beautifully and contrasts pleasantly with the myriad
of colors, dots and other shapes and forms that grace the inside of the
back cover – a close-up of the side of a brook trout. Residing between
these two photographs are 166 pages for you to explore and enjoy at your
leisure. The quality of the binding is also up to the task. This is a book
that was meant to be fully opened (without fear of breaking the spine
resulting in pages falling out), read, displayed and enjoyed. I believe
the size of the book has an additional and probably unintended benefit –
when my fly fishing friends happen to stop by and drool over the book, I
doubt whether they will be inclined to slip it into their back pocket
before they depart!
I'M 81 YEARS OLD AND HAVE BEEN FLYFISHING SINCE I WAS FOUR. I'VE FISHED ALL OVER THE WORLD AND HAVE TAKEN EVERY SPECIE OF FRESH AND SALTWATER FISH THAT I'VE WANTED TO.
ALSO, I'VE READ EVERY FISHING BOOK THAT LOOKED WORTHWHILE TO ME AND HAVE SEEN THOUSANDS OF PHOTOGRAPHS OVER MY LONG LIFETIME.
HOWEVER, I'VE NEVER IN ALL THAT TIME SEEN ANYTHING AS PROFOUNDLY SPECIAL AS THE HUNT!
IT IS AN ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE!
I'M SURE THAT EVERY READER COULD, AND PROBABLY WILL, SPEND MANY HOURS READING/VIEWING THE BOOK AND THOSE FANTASTIC PHOTOGRAPHS OVER AND OVER AGAIN THRU A LIFETIME, NEVER EVER HAVING DIGESTED ALL OF IT OR GROWING TIRED OF IT.
WHEN YOU FIRST MENTIONED TO ME THAT YOU WERE DOING A BOOK, I AUTOMATICALLY FIGURED IT WOULD BE JUST ANOTHER HO-HUM COLLECTION OF MEDIOCRE PHOTOS AND TEXT OF WHICH BARNES & NOBLE, et al ARE LOADED WITH.
BOY WAS I WRONG!!!
YOU CERTAINLY HAVE TOPPED ANYTHING I'VE COME ACROSS IN THESE 81 YEARS.
BY THIS MEMO I AM ORDERING TWO CASES. PLEASE SHIP TO THE ADDRESS YOU HAVE ON FILE - CHECKS IN THE MAIL.
● “This book’s sumptuous celebration of fly-fishing impressed even the IPPY Award judges that haven’t fished in years. THE HUNT captures the sport so vividly that you experience the fish and the waters they live in.”
Jim Barnes, Judge, Independent Book Publishers Annual Awards (IPPY Awards)
● “Ever since my husband and I took up the sport, I have wondered why a couple of college graduates find it overwhelmingly exciting when a fish takes the imitation bug that we present to it. THE HUNT has explained it to me.” Barbara Renfrew, well traveled salt and fresh water fly fisher
● THE HUNT stirred my emotions. Some of my past experiences were brought to the surface by the truly phenomenal photographs. I am in your debt for allowing me to visit and revisit some wonderful fishing adventures.
Thanks, Bob Sciutto
● All I can say about THE HUNT is WOW! What a beautiful piece of art.
● THE HUNT is a fantastic piece of work and I would like to send it to
several guys in my fly fishing group for Christmas. Please order me 10
● Anyone can see the photographs in THE HUNT are beautiful, but what sets this book apart for me is how well it captures the experience of fishing the flats.
● THE HUNT…….rocks. Please put my order in for 5 copies.