What more can be said about a Steve Raymond book that hasn't already been said? Simply put, he is one of the finest authors who has ever laid pen to paper on the subject of fly fishing.
His latest book, "Nervous Water", is a collection of essays and articles that have been published or presented in some fashion over the course of his half century involvement in the fly fishing trade. That's not to say this book is a "best of" or an anthology. I believe it is more appropriate to think of this book as a refresher, as many of the articles have been updated and enhanced from their original published form, and besides - they were published in a variety of places and it is unlikely any one person would have seen them all.
Quite a few of the essays in "Nervous Water" are light hearted and fun. I mean, you wouldn't find The Ballad of the Tangled Tippet in a book that is lacking a sense of humor, nor Boob Tubes, an essay about those donut shaped personal floatation devices for which the author doesn't really have much positive to say. Still, there are moments of heart felt writing, which I believe is where Mr. Raymond is strongest. He really shines in the essay entitled Fishing with Bill Nation, where he recounts the life and legend of one of the founders of the Kamloops angling traditions - the "Pacific Northwest's answer to Theodore Gordon".
Normally an essay book is not thought of as "pretty" in the same sense that other books are, books that are jam packed with glossy full color photos of scenery, fish, or flies. That being said, I find "Nervous Water" quite appealing to the eye. The layout, the font and the font size, and the scattered drawings, all make for a very pleasant reading experience. It is as if the publishers went out of their way to design the book to match the quality of the writing. Well done.
I guess it is no surprise that I am a fan of Steve Raymond's writing. That is a fact. Anyone else who shares my view should treat themselves to a copy of "Nervous Waters". It is flyfishing writing at its best.