Tight Lines


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Ten Years of the Yale Anglers' Journal

Illustrated by James Prosek; Edited by Joseph Furia, Wyatt Golding, David Haltom, Steven Hayhurst, Joseph Kingsbery, and Alexis Surovov; With a Foreword by Nick Lyons; With a Preface by James Prosek and Joseph Furia

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“I don’t know why I fish, or why others fish, except that it makes us think and feel.”—Roderick Haig-Brown, 1946

Since the first copy of the Yale Anglers’ Journal appeared in 1996, readers with an interest in fish and fishing have opened the pages of each issue with anticipation and delight. YAJ’s founders suspected that others would share their passion for literature and art related to angling; what they had not fully anticipated was the intensity of enthusiasm from readers and writers everywhere. Perhaps they shouldn’t have been surprised. Statistics tell us that 35 million Americans regularly fish, and among their numbers are presidents and students, old and young, the famous and the unknown, the busy and the idle.

This anthology presents a selection of 50 stories, recollections, essays, and poems featured in the Yale Anglers’ Journal during its first remarkable decade. Accompanied by original artwork from James Prosek, these writings all celebrate fish and the experience of fishing, yet they could hardly be more diverse. Some evoke a nostalgic earlier time, others vibrate with excitement, and still others offer a humorous view of life’s surprises. The contributions come from well-known current writers, little-known newcomers, and even authors of antiquity, such as Homer, who had a thing to say about fishing. Anyone who has felt a line pull tight, or is curious to know why the experience has inspired anglers throughout human history, will want to open the pages of this inviting book.

“So here is where I came out as I entered my fiftieth year….I believe in a balanced life. I do not want to fish all the time….But I have learned that I am also a person who has to be able to go fishing whenever I can and for as long as I want to go.”—from “Amare O Pescare,” by Howell Raines

James Prosek and Joseph Furia cofounded the Yale Anglers’ Journal. Joseph Furia, Steven Hayhurst, Alexis Surovov, David Haltom, Wyatt Golding, and Joseph Kingsbery have served as editors of the journal.



Visit the author's website.

Click here for an extended question & answer discussion with the author.

Listen to an interview with Aleixs Surovov and James Prosek on WNPR's "Where We Live."

For more information on the Yale Anglers’ Journal, including ordering of subscriptions, 
go to Yale Angler's Journal, email, or write Editor, Yale Anglers’ Journal, P.O. Box 204048, New Haven, CT 06520-4048.

"The Yale Anglers' Journal is a triumph of literacy and enthusiasm, a combination rarely seen these days."—Thomas McGuane, author of The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing

“What a fresh, varied, and thoughtful anthology this is! It collects the best essays, poems, and stories from the first ten years of the Yale Anglers’ Journal and is like no other basket of fishing-in-print I know. Perhaps its greatest virtue is that it is consistently entertaining.”—From the foreword by Nick Lyons

"One of the finest anthologies of contemporary angling writing I have read in the past 20 years. Tight Lines is full of interesting voices, vivid prose, and wonderfully original takes on the angling passion."—Christopher Camuto, author of A Fly Fisherman's Blue Ridge, Another Country, and Hunting from Home and Professor of English at Bucknell University

“This is the liveliest collection of angling (and angling-related) pieces I have read in a long time. And we can be confident that James Prosek's wonderful watercolors, included as a bonus here, will be a part of the sport permanently.”—Ian Frazier, author of The Fish's Eye

"I don't think I'm going in over my waders when I say that James Prosek's paintings will be the gold standard for angling art for generations to come. . . . Tight Lines is a collection of writings that appeared in the pages of the [Yale Anglers] Journal during its first decade, and a brilliant collection it is, a perfect companion for the long cold months between seasons. And of course, it is illustrated by James Prosek, which fact alone makes it worth the asking price."—Nick Mills, Maine Today

"This solid collection of 50 short stories, travelogues, memoirs, scientific explorations, speeches and poems covers popular and obscure aspects of the sport: fly fishing, spin fishing and cane poling, along with catfish, striped bass and even the lowly sunfish. . . . [An] anthology of well-crafted pieces. . . . Prosek's magnificent watercolor illustrations lend the volume a coffee table book-feel despite its slender size, making it a visually appealing gift for any fisherman."—Publishers Weekly

"While fishing may be the catalyst, these stories are ultimately about much more. From a reflection on the meaning of friendship, to a wistful recollection of a near-death experience involving a hippo and a Daredevil, to a scholarly 'Fishing Talk' at Yale University, there's something here not only for those who fish but also for those who wonder what all the fuss is about."—Northern Woodlands

Selected as a 2008 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries.
ISBN: 9780300151404
Publication Date: April 14, 2009
264 pages, 9 x 6
52 color illus.
James Prosek

Art, Artifact, Artifice

James Prosek; With an essay by Edith Devaney

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