Fishing for Words

I have some books on topics that I know nothing about, which I keep for the style in which they are written. I was about to give away Trout: How to Catch Them by W. A. Adamson, realizing that trout fishing is not in my literal or figurative future, when I found this passage — a metaphor on the writing process. Substitute writing for casting, pen for rod, imagination for line.

…casting is a misleading sight to the unthinking observer. He thinks that it is the movement of the rod which causes the projection of the line, and fails to realize that it is the checking of the movement which is the really important part of the process. The other secret in learning to cast, is to learn to pause long enough for the line to extend behind before starting any forward movement.”
W.A. Adamson, Trout: How to Catch Them, London: Herbert Jenkins 1959, pages 71-72.

Ok, maybe I stayed up too late. But really, Adamson is himself given to metaphor. Describing the problems for trout arising from hatcheries, he writes, “In the early days these hatchery-trout, like the sons of some rich men, had a great deal done for them, and were protected from the harsh realities of life.” p 21 Trout amandine, anyone?