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Fish On, Fish Off

Stephen Sautner

Fish On, Fish Off is the angling version of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. Through a series of nearly 50 personal essays, the author explores what happens when the self-taught, DIY angler sets out to fish the world – and winds up stumbling into every possible pitfall and danger along the way. These include: getting chased from a river by an elephant, surviving a terrifying helicopter ride over the Straits of Magellan, and breaking his only rod on the second cast in Cuba’s Bay of Pigs.

Closer to home, he is swept off a jetty on Block Island by a rogue wave, winds up in an emergency room more than once with fishing lures hanging from various parts of his anatomy, and perhaps most daunting, surviving 30 years of the scrum better known as opening day of trout season in his crowded home state of New Jersey.

Upriver and Downstream showed the poetry of angling, Fish On, Fish Off shows the scars.
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Globe Pequot Press / Lyons Press
Pages: 192Size: 5 3/4 x 9
978-1-4930-2505-3 • Hardback • October 2016 • $22.95 • (£15.95)
978-1-4930-2506-0 • eBook • October 2016 • $21.99 • (£14.95)
Ever since he saw his older brother lose an enormous summer flounder off a dock at the New Jersey Shore when he was 12 years old, Stephen Sautner has been trying to catch fish. Any fish. This has led him to the Falkland Islands where he cast for sea trout next to an active mine field, to the Zambezi River where three-ton elephants guarded pools filled with tiger fish and Nile crocodiles. In 2007, he edited Upriver and Downstream, an anthology of fishing stories from the "Outdoors" column of The New York Times, and has been an active contributor to the column since 1994. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Fly Rod & Reel, Wildlife Conservation, and Underwater Naturalist.
Along with Sautner’s 15 years of contributing to the NY Times, he is also the director of communications for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo, where he publicizes the Society’s conservation programs.
About Fish On, Fish Off:

"From Cape Breton to Cuba to New Jersey, these personal and resonant fishing tales will keep your mind on the water when your body can't be. Sautner has written a vivid and beautiful kind of memoir through fishing and you'll enjoy being his companion!"--
James Prosek, artist and author of Trout: An Illustrated History and Eels: An Exploration from New Zealand to the Sargasso of the World's most Mysterious Fish

“Fish On, Fish Off” is a hilarious, engaging collection of everything the rest of us won’t admit--like fish that get away, not just usually but always; the unsung art of rod breaking; and catching fish only Sautner has heard of. How refreshing to read the memoirs of a weird fisherman--i.e., an honest one.
Ted Williams, Conservation Editor, Fly Rod & Reel

"What a delicious basket of short, witty, perceptive, and memorable glimpses into Sautner's rich fishing life. Full of adventure--from New Jersey to Alaska--and hilarious misadventures, Fish On, Fish Off is a treat all fly fishers will love."--
Nick Lyons, author of Fishing Stories, Spring Creek, and Bright Rivers

"Stephen Sautner's Fish On, Fish Off has everything you'd want to find in a book about the outdoors: adventure, humor, pathos, suffering, triumph, and plenty of fish. This book of essays proves once and for all that poetry is as much a part of fishing as a rod and reel."--
Steven Rinella, author of The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine, American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon, and Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter.

"These travels with a fishing rod reveal a whole new dimension to the world. And even when the underwater residents are not cooperating, there is always a tale to be reeled in."--Jeremy Wade,
Host of "River Monsters"

'Almost anybody can tell the hero stories and tales of conquest, but it takes a real writer (and angler) to be able to convey failure and challenges in a way that’s still grippy and entertaining. Sautner has a great knack for wit and humility. Think of him in the Zane Grey meets Murphy’s Law context. There is some truly perceptive and interesting stuff in this book, and it never sags.' – Trout Unlimited

'Every fisherman will find pieces of himself between the pages'
ABC News

'A finny hoot from start to finish' - Wisconsin Outdoor News