New Book Release: “Illuminated by Water”

August 2, 2022 By: Spencer Durrant

illuminated by waterA new book on fly fishing was released today – “Illuminated by Water” by Malachy Tallack, published by Pegasus Books. Below is a press release from Pegasus about the book and author.

Tallack’s decades-long passion for ­fly fishing has shaped the way he sees and thinks about the natural world. That passion is shared and made legible here, not just for other anglers, but for those who have never yet cast a line in the water. Why is it that catching ­fish—or even thinking about catching fish—can be so thrilling, so captivating? Why is it that time spent beside water can be imprinted so sharply in the memory? Why is it that what seems a simple act of casting a line and hoping can feel so rich in mystery?

Alternating between regional and thematic chapters, Tallack considers ‘wildness,’ its pursuit, and its meanings; the compulsive appeal of tying flies; the ethics of catching and killing; the allure of big ­fish; and beauty—where it’s sought and where it’s found. He describes ­fly fishing trips to America, Canada, Shetland, and England. He returns again and again to question his own place within larger themes of environmental harm and healing; the relationship between fishing and time; hope and its metaphorical manifestations; and the ways in which angling can deepen engagement with the natural world.


Illuminated by Water blends nature writing and memoir and touches on the connection of time, beauty, and memory in an elegiac tribute to fly fishing and the natural world.


About the Author: Malachy Tallack is the award-winning author of three previous books: Sixty Degrees NorthThe Un-Discovered Islands, and, most recently, a novel, The Valley at the Centre of the World. He has received both a New Writers Award and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship from the Scottish Book Trust, and as a singer-songwriter has released four albums and an EP. Malachy grew up in the Shetland Islands and currently lives in central Scotland.