An Interview with Acclaimed Outdoors Author David Adams Richards
The Desert Rat 05.03.12
Well, I’m hoping you read my review of David Adams’ Richards book Lines on the Water. If you have any affinity for the outdoors at all, I recommend the book. Awesome read, for sure! Mr. Richards was kind enough to answer some questions. This is particularly meaningful to me as a New Brunswicker, since we harken from the same province. As a writer, since Mr. Richards is a highly acclaimed Canadian author, and winner of the prestigious Governor General’s Award. Thanks again to the author of this wonderful book of life and fly fishing.
Short stories, poetry, novels, non-fiction – you’ve done it all. What’s your favorite type of writing?
For the most part I like writing them all –they are all challenging and rewarding in different ways. As I get older I am doing more non-fiction however.
In terms of personal satisfaction for your own work, where does Lines on the Water fall?
I like Lines on the Water. It is I think a fairly accurate portrayal of life on the Miramichi River, and the friends I write about in it are authentic and as gracious as most human beings. The fishing is good too.
Was it a book you wanted to write, or a book you needed to write?
It was a book I both wanted and needed to write–most of my friends were asking me when I was ever going to write about fishing–finally I decided to do so.
As you know, I haven’t been home in a long time – how are the Atlantic salmon doing? I know they were struggling when I left.
The salmon are doing fairly well on the river now. Of course it is a 4 year cycle from spawn to mature fish–the grilse run happens after 2 years of course–but over all I do think the fish are doing well, and the stock is healthy. Of course each year is different and there is no guarantees, but the Miramichi is still the greatest Atlantic Salmon river in the world.
For the most part, participation in hunting and fishing is declining across North America; do you think fishing books such as yours can serve as recruiting tools or merely a testament to the “way things used to be”? How important do you think it is to keep fishing (and hunting) alive?
Both–in some ways every book one writes is a testament or an avowal to the way things were–in a certain way that is the writer’s job–however these books are also filled with hard won information about what is true and noble in the experience, and that in itself says that such experiences are important.
Barely anybody here has ever heard of New Brunswick. How would you characterize New Brunswick (and New Brunswickers)?
Like anywhere else really. It’s the province in Canada directly north of the State of Maine. I have travelled most of my life, and have come home again. New Brunswickers are as gracious and generous and thoughtful and as understanding of the world as people I have met in New York, London or Sydney, Australia. In fact in the real measure of things there is little difference.
Is there a dream fishing trip you haven’t been on yet?
Bone fishing on the flats in Florida someday.
Are there more fishing books from you in the future?
No I believe I have done my fishing book. I have a companion hunting book out now, and that is it as far as those kinds of books go.
Thanks again to David. I’m going to pick up a copy of his hunting book to review next!
If you are interested in buying a copy, you can pick it up on Amazon here: Lines on the Water
Interested in learning more about New Brunswick? Check here: New Brunswick
Finally – are you a fisherman looking for a cause? Check out the Atlantic Salmon Federation: Atlantic Salmon