Little Rivers

“Sometimes, when it gets hard to be a human being, you just have to put your foot right into a grizzly bear’s paw print, the one embedded deeply in the mud on a riverbank in Alaska.”
Margot Page, Little Rivers

This 20th anniversary edition of the ground-breaking memoir Little Rivers: Tales of a Woman Angler, originally published in 1995, includes new, expanded material that continues my story of a woman’s evolution from reluctant student to passionate angler to married, angling young mother, to divorced, desk-bound angler.

Here, I take you to my home river, Vermont’s Little-Rivers-Covermarble-banked Battenkill, to Cape Cod saltwater fishing for striped bass, to Montana’s big waters, to the wild Alaskan landscape, and most compellingly to the little rivers that run through my life and echo your own. The updated personal stories in the new Little Rivers also include a peek at the founding years of the national nonprofit Casting for Recovery.

Little Rivers is not just about a woman learning how to handle a fly rod or finding her way in a sport that was traditionally male until a few decades ago. In addition to being a book about fishing, it’s about a daughter coming of age after the death of her mother; it’s about a woman becoming a mother herself and going on to confront the mountains most of us face as we grow up: the passage of time, illness, divorce, mortality. These are the currents that interest me. And when I sit down to write, these events are inseparable from my time on the water.

From the original Little Rivers’ jacket copy: “Before our eyes, as we read, this granddaughter of Sparse Gray Hackle … emerges as her very own voice: strong, proud, and evocative. And we recognize a remarkable new presence – a female presence – in the canon of fly-fishing literature.”