One day, on a whim and a handshake, Willoughby “Will” Johnson bought a farm on a legendary trout stream in the Ozarks. He knew he was buying the land, the trees, and a half mile of crystalline creek. What he didn’t realize is that he’d also bought a junior membership in a vast web of human relationships that converged there.
Crosscut Creek is a month-by-month account of a year in and around the tiny town of Crosscut, Missouri. Johnson plants trees and fells them, samples fresh-made moonshine, and nearly blows up the family minivan. He traces the tracks of a Civil War battle, chats up a pistol-packing environmentalist, and gigs for suckers in November. Will always marks the seasons on the creek with rod in hand, coaxing wild trout from their hiding places with a lightly-presented dry fly.
At times bawdy, wry and piercingly profound, Crosscut Creek is about more than fly fishing. It’s a portrait of a newcomer finding his place in a landscape defined by tradition, of a father passing the tradition of fly fishing on to his daughters.
About Will Johnson, by Will Johnson:
While the Ozarks are a long way from New Brunswick, I have deep roots in the Miramichi country.
My great-great grandfather came from Ireland in 1826 and settled on the Northwest Miramichi. My grandmother was born and raised overlooking the river at Wayerton. They lived a real frontier existence, which in that part of the world meant they ate a lot of moose and salmon. In fact, my grandmother shot her first moose at age 10 in her front yard. My grandfather married my grandmother in that same front yard, and wrote a book about her family called Miramichi Woodsman. To this day, I own a small parcel of ancestral land in the Three Islands area.
Though I live in the Midwest, I’m very proud of my Miramichi roots and I’m deeply passionate about Atlantic salmon fishing and conservation.
About the illustrator Keith Witmer
After receiving his B.F.A. from Otis/Parsons School Of Design, Keith launched his career into the world of advertising and publication initially using traditional pen and ink and scratchboard mediums. While Keith typically works exclusively with his stylus and tablet these days, he enjoyed picking up an old-school pen once again to create this one-of-a-kind remarque for the Miramichi Salmon Association auction. While not an angler, Keith is passionate about conservation and the environment.
The book is a nice, hard cover book with a dust jacket illustrated by Keith. The book is signed by Will and Keith has given it a detailed remarque of the largest trout in Will’s creek. I finished this book recently myself, and found the stories about the lifestyles and people along Crosscut Creek to remind me very much of rural Maine and New Brunswick. Crosscut Creek is a very enjoyable read. Brad Burns
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