The Major, The Poacher, and the Wonderful One-Trout River



by Dayton O. Hyde

The Major, the Poacher, and the Wonderful One-Trout River. 

Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Boyds Mills Press, 1985.


             The Major, widely recognized as one of the world’s best flyfishers, does not actually hold a record for any trout he’s caught.   Determined to change that, he begins construction of a perfect trout river.  Meanwhile, Plummey, the young bait angler across the river, puzzles over the Major’s actions, but slowly learns the art and wisdom of flyfishing.


Good Points:

  • Entertaining and engaging story.
  • A close and meaningful look into the care and precision that is flyfishing.
  • Coming-of-age and growth figure key in the development of this novel, including an exploration of the conservation ethic.


Other Notes:

  • The Major uses phragmites as erosion control (once imported to many places for this purpose, it is now widely recognized as highly invasive in most places).
  • The Major constructs the “perfect” habitat, rather than using available habitat.
  • Brook trout (focus of this story) is an invasive, introduced species in Oregon (story setting).



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