Nine Passes by Todd Bruce – Black Swift Press, February 15th, 2015 – Print only
By Ford Kanzler, Aptos, CA
This is Todd’s first publication. He’s a retired Santa Cruz resident and long-time trekking expert who’s created an at once very personal family story and one of wide appeal to fishing mountaineers who would bring fly tackle to remote lakes in the Sierra Nevada. Todd recounts his solo, summer of 2012, 300-mile hike through the Sierra high country while reminiscing his childhood memories of family backpacking/fishing expeditions to some of the same locations. While marveling at the mountain terrain and the the peace it brings him, the author also questions the evolving trout habitat, species variation, numbers and size that’s occurred since this area was first reported on in the late 1940’s. Its a fairly brisk-reading travelog that’s unlike any “fishing guides” or novels done in a fly-fishing setting, like A River Runs Through It. The author’s love of silence, solitude, scenery and fly fishing success is transmitted well. For readers its a vicarious adventure or stimulus to get out and do it.