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Norman Maclean’s Birthday

December 23, 2011 By: Marshall Cutchin

If you are unfortunate enough to have a birthday that lands on or around Christmas, you know it can leave you feeling rather anonymous. Not so with Norman Maclean, whose A River Runs Through It—a classic in its own right—inspired a movie that single-handedly transformed fly fishing from a quirky pastime into a revved up industry.  Maclean grew up at the junction of two great trout rivers in Missoula, Montana, and his semi-autobiographical works explored the idea that “life was only a step from art in its structures and beauty.”