“It is not all of fishing to fish.”

Izaak Walton
The Compleat Angler

George Frederick Clarke had an unwavering and well-practiced philosophy of fishing. He never tired of repeating Izaak Walton’s famous saying and he delighted in spelling out exactly what it means.

He begins the story in his previous book, Six Salmon Rivers, and brings it to full expression in Song of the Reel. The pinnacle of feeling to which Song of the Reel rises as it surrounds fishing with the beauty of New Brunswick’s rivers and the deep forest landscape, as well as the pleasures of companionship and great story telling, leave no doubt that fishing is about much more than catching fish. You don’t have to be a fisherman to enjoy these books.

With stories of river adventures, wilderness solace, the camaraderie of camping, as well as fishing, Dr. Clarke spins together the lines of description and feeling that puts the “much more” in the picture. He plays out his memories of a long life in the Saint John River Valley in a way that is a salute to the land and people he loved so well. He offers firm evidence of what it means to have a grateful heart and satisfied mind. We can imagine he would say with Thoreau, “I dream of no heaven but that which lies about me.”

With Six Salmon Rivers and Song of the Reel, Dr. Clarke has given us two of the finest renditions of what it means to say, “It is not all of fishing to fish.”

 

Paperback  •  280 pages  •  ISBN 978-1-988299-03-7

From the Afterword by Keith Helmuth

By the time George Frederick Clarke composed Song of the Reel, he had an unwavering and well-practiced philosophy of life, a store of memories to match, and twelve published books to his credit. He was in his eighth decade and Song of the Reel might well have been his last salute to the land and people he loved so well. The pinnacle of feeling to which this book rises, and the grace with which the writing visits and revisits its inexhaustible theme, provides everything one needs to understand the philosophy of life which George Frederick Clarke enthusiastically held and faithfully practiced.

About the Author

George Frederick Clarke (1883-1974) is one of New Brunswick’s best writers. He is the author of thirteen books, including Six Salmon Rivers, Song of the Reel, and Someone Before Us. His short stories have recently been collected in The Ghost of Nackawick Portage.

 

About the Editor

Mary Bernard is editor of the George Frederick Project, which is bringing his books back into print. She is Clarke’s granddaughter and lives in Cambridge, England.

 

Price list and purchasing information

Song of the Reel

George Frederick Clarke

»

Edited by Mary Bernard

  • Table of Contents

    Editor’s Preface

    List of Illustrations

    Sources of Illustrations

    Foreword

     Chapter I

     Chapter II

     Chapter III

     Chapter IV

     Chapter V

     Chapter VI

     Chapter VII

     Chapter VIII

    Photographs: Part One

     Chapter IX

     Chapter X

     Chapter XI

     Chapter XII

     Chapter XIII

     Chapter XIV

    Photographs: Part Two

     Chapter XV

     Chapter XVI

     Chapter XVII

     Chapter XVIII

     Chapter XIX

     Chapter XX

     Chapter XXI

     Chapter XXII

     Chapter XXIII

     Chapter XXIV

    Afterword

    Index

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Second Edition