Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Nature Essays

Fishing the High Country

A Memoir of the River

by (author) Wayne Curtis

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Oct 2018
Essays, Fishing, Personal Memoirs
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Finalist, New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction

From the first sentence, "I come from a long line of river people," to the last, "Bad luck to kill a moose bird," Wayne Curtis signals that this book occupies the territory of a classic, a lyrical memoir of a river and those who submit to its call.

New Brunswick's Miramichi River is one of the most entrancing salmon rivers in the world. In Fishing the High Country, Curtis has created what can only be described as a river masterpiece, a lyrical record of time and place, of those who are drawn to its side and those who cast their lines into its waters.

Drawing on his experience of life along the river — as a boy, as a young man, and as a river guide among guides, Wayne Curtis crafts the compelling memoir of this place, a high country where he spins his tales, casts his flies, and fishes the river and woods for his stories. The Miramichi vibrates in Curtis's bones. His cast of characters are earthy, whimsical, and wise. His eye for the telling detail and his rooted understanding of lives lived humbly will captivate readers with its near mystical blend of the mysteries of fly fishing and the affections of the heart.

About the author

Wayne Curtis is the author of six novels, and many essays and short stories. He has contributed to such publications as the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Montreal Gazette, Fly Fisherman, Quill & Quire, and Outdoor Canada. Winner of the David Adams Richards Award for short fiction, his stories have appeared in literary journals, been dramatized for CBC Radio, and filmed for CBC. He has been Writer-in-Residence at Berton House in Dawson City and Havana's prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Thomas University in Fredericton. A native of Blackville, New Brunswick, Wayne caught his first salmon at the age of 8. He is an avid fly fisherman and spends half of each year on the Miramichi River where he finds time to work as a guide as well as write.

Wayne Curtis' profile page


  • Short-listed, New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction

Editorial Reviews

"What a joy this book is, full of affection for and a wise reflection on the river people, their angling guests, and the waters they shared in New Brunswick's high country, which Curtis has made his own. 'I can feel every word the great river laid upon us,' he writes and, in this memoir, Curtis gives us back those deep and shining words as a great and lasting gift."

Harry Thurston

"A story of love and passion. Wayne Curtis led me through rivers and people of memory, stirring strong sentiments in every chapter. This is a book for angling addicts who cast lines on any patch of water in reality and in dreams. It will be my go-to book any time I need my angling emotions stroked."

Katharine Mott

"This gripping and beautiful book takes us deep into the forests and river valleys of one of our finest backwoods cultures. One trip to the Miramichi and you'll never forget its people and places. If you haven't stood alongside that river, Wayne Curtis's wise and gentle writing will make you want to go."

Jake MacDonald

Other titles by Wayne Curtis