Delightful stories on great art of fly-fishing inviting faith

By Mike Whitmer

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, June 9 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"HEAVEN ON EARTH: Stories of Fly-Fishing, Fun and Faith," by Andrew Marshall Wayment, American Book Publishing, $22, 228 pages (nf)

Often times fly-fishing books are written only for those who understand the sport and want to get better. Sometimes these books share stories of adventures on the back end of a fly rod but fail to connect with the average reader.

Andrew Wayment, an attorney from Idaho and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has written a fly-fishing book that not only shares the excitement of finding and catching exceptional fish, but views the experiences in light of family, community and the relationships people have with God. His new book, “Heaven on Earth: Stories of Fly-Fishing, Fun and Faith," is full of entertaining, delightful and uplifting remembrances from his life as an outdoorsman.

Wayment was introduced to the outdoors by his father and, though the relationship struggled at times, felt a connection with his dad throughout his life as they fished and hunted together. When he married, he learned fly-fishing from his father-in-law and his view of the outdoors expanded exponentially

The first experience the author had using a fly rod was on Henry's Fork River near the famous Mack’s Inn in Island Park, Idaho. Still unaccustomed to casting flies, Wayment had little success with his "slapwater" style deliveries. But “even a blind squirrel finds an acorn” from time to time, he writes, and he was able to catch his first trout on a fly during a feeding frenzy in the early evening hours. This small taste of success was the catalyst that began a love affair with the sweet sport of fly-fishing.

On another occasion, the author recounts an experience he had with his father-in-law as they fished in the Black Canyon area of Idaho's Bear River. As they worked their way up the river, they were unaware that the dam upstream had released an abundance of water and it was coming quickly to their position. Though they escaped serious consequences, Wayment and his family learned that it is better to check with authorities before embarking on a journey into new territory. He likened this adventure to the days of Noah, when the people were inclined to “eat, drink and be merry” instead of listen to the words of a prophet of God.

Filled with fun tales, “Heaven on Earth" is a little volume that will be a great addition to a fly fisherman’s library but also fit well as a part of any family’s reading section. Take a few minutes and give Wayment a chance to enthrall you with his stories of life through the eyes of a fly fisherman. You won’t be sorry for the time you spend.

Mike Whitmer lives in West Valley City and loves to fly fish, read, write and play with his grandchildren. His email is grundelwalken@gmail.com and he blogs at mtwhitmer.blogspot.com.

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