The University of Wisconsin Press


Sunlit Riffles and Shadowed Runs
Stories of Fly Fishing in America
Kent Cowgill

Short stories that bring one of America’s most addictive, soul-satisfying sports to life

Ranging from the riotously comic to the nostalgic, edgy, and suspenseful, these sixteen stories offer richly developed and engaging portraits of characters across the spectrum of life, all absorbed by the thrill of fly fishing.  A marriage betrayal on a trout stream in the north woods, a young boy’s coming of age as a fly fisherman in the Black Hills of South Dakota, angler rage on the redfish flats of the Gulf of Mexico, an epic quest for bullish rainbows in Montana’s celebrated Bighorn, the quiet mystique of Wisconsin’s Brule River, the intensity of combat fishing on a salmon pool in the Pacific Northwest, these are just a few of the fascinating tales of fly fishing offered in Sunlit Riffles and Shadowed Runs. Rendered in sparkling prose that will resonate with every angler, this collection will also delight any reader who enjoys outdoor pastimes.

Kent Cowgill was the recipient of Fly Rod & Reel’s Traver Award for distinguished fiction in 2010. He is an avid outdoorsman and widely traveled writer whose stories have appeared in such publications as Gray’s Sporting Journal, Field & Stream, The High Plains Literary Review, Trout, and The Atlantic Salmon Journal. He has authored three other books, including Back in Time: Echoes of a Vanished America in the Heart of France.  He lives beside a stream with a healthy population of native brook trout, in the bluff country along the Upper Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota.


“[Cowgill's] ability to relate places-as well as personalities-is on par with the best fishing writers in the craft, past or present. . . . Cowgill does much more than take you fishing: He immerses you in the culture.”
Trout Unlimited

“This collection of stories, covering two decades of his work, shows that he is among the best writers in this genre.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Experienced fly fishers will appreciate many more angles in Riffles stories than others will because it's written for us.”
Fly Rod & Reel Magazine

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Of Related Interest:
A guide for hunters and the curious alike.A Grouse Hunter's Almanac
The Other Kind of Hunting
Mark Parman

“There are two kinds of hunting: ordinary hunting, and ruffed-grouse hunting.”—Aldo Leopold, from A Sand County Almanac
•Winner, Sports and Recreation, Midwest Book Awards
•Bronze Medalist, Sports, Foreword Magazine’s Books of the Year

November 2012
LC: 2012012024 PS
170 pp.   5 1/2 x 8 1/4

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Cloth $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28910-2
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A trade imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press

"These stories are sometimes quiet, sometimes raucous, and sometimes quirky, but they all look at fishing and fishermen with the kind of sidelong glance you might not expect.”

—John Gierach, editor at large of Fly Rod & Reel Magazine


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Updated 2/19/13

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