A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Maclean, Norman, with a foreward by Annie Proulx

University of Chicago, 1976

p xii

Annie Proulx explains that Norman Maclean’s stories partake of his experience as a young man, working in woods with other men.  “He saw high art in various kinds of labor, celebrated the expertise of work now lost, told of masters of fly fishing, ax and saw work, mule and horse packing, fire fighting, small scale mining.”  Connection to preaching?  Here’s the first paragraph of Maclean’s title story, “A River Runs Through It”: “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.  We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others.  He told us about Christ’s disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.”