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Author David Coggins’s New Book “The Optimist”

May 17, 2021 By: Marshall Cutchin

Writing for The New Yorker, Charles McGrath offers a brief profile of author David Coggins, whose new book “The Optimist” just hit store shelves.

“Like a lot of fly fishermen, Coggins believes in a sort of hierarchy of difficulty or purity. Ideally, you want a trout to rise up and snatch a dry fly drifting on top of the water. If that doesn’t work, you can add a nymph to the line—a fly meant to look like an immature insect and weighted so that it sinks below the surface. Finally, worst case, you can use a streamer, resembling not a fly but a larger insect or a small fish. The streamer drops to the bottom and the angler keeps yanking on the line to make it look alive. In ‘The Optimist,’ Coggins writes that pulling a streamer through a pool of fish is like ‘bringing a keg and a stack of red Solo cups to a freshman dorm.’ It’s just one step above using real bait, and that, of course, is unthinkable.”