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Robert Demott

Robert Demott, Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor at Ohio University, received six different graduate and undergraduate teaching awards. His latest book came out from Skyhorse in 2016: Angling Days: A Fly Fisher’s Journals. His many other books include Steinbeck’s Typewriter: Essays on His Art (1996), winner of the Nancy Dasher Award; three poetry collections, News of Loss (1995), The Weather in Athens (2001), winner of the Ohioana Book Award for poetry, and Brief and Glorious Transit: Prose Poems (2007); a bio-bibliography and memoir, Dave Smith: A Literary Archive (2000); and edited anthologies, including Conversations with Jim Harrison (2002) and Afield: American Writers on Bird Dogs (2010). His poems and sporting pieces have appeared in the Georgia Review, Southern Review, Cimarron Review, Quarterly West, Southern Poetry Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Trout, American Angler, Yale Anglers’ Journal, American Fly Fisher, and Contemporary Sportsman. A Federation of Fly Fishers-certified casting instructor, DeMott lives with partner Kate Fox in Athens, Ohio. He is an adjunct guide with Elk Springs Resort and Fly Shop in Monterville, WV.

Author Articles

"The Cardinal Is the Only Bird of Christmas"

Afternoon of another waning year, with dusk coming early and deepening fast, my love and I trimmed front porch greens, hung cheery lights and gaily striped ribbons, put up our share of bright bows and lacy tinsel, draped our Christmas tree with shiny doo-dads stored in our attic since last time, all the while caroling giddily as we decked our halls in...

Book Review: "Trout Culture: How Fly Fishing Forever Changed the Rocky Mountain West"

“The creation of Planet Trout is, by many accounts, a great success story, and by many other accounts, an unmitigated ecological disaster. And it has, by any account, caused big changes in the  American West.” —Paul Schullery, Cowboy Trout: Western Fly Fishing,  As If It Mattered (2006) I Float Trip Every summer morning a squadron of bully SUVs...

"Fishing for My Father: Everything Old is New Again"

Part II (read Part I) In The Sporting Road, Jim Fergus says outdoor sporting pursuits proves we are just “great big kids.” I see his point, though I never thought Peter Pan was a suitable role model. But indeed going outside started for me at a very young age, so perhaps a residue of youthfulness has always attached itself to my sporting pursuits. I...

"Fishing for My Father: Everything Old is New Again"

Part I “When a man’s stories are remembered, then he is immortal.”—Daniel Wallace, Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions Reach a certain age—in my case 70—and it is natural to want to sum up and make a reckoning of accounts. In tracing the background of the sporting part of my life—the part with fly rods and double barrel shotguns—I am...

"Deserve’s Got Nothing to Do with It"

HERMAN MELVILLE, a writer who knew well how things can go wrong on the water, said it best in his Mississippi River novel, The Confidence Man: “Life is a pic-nic en costume; one must take a part, assume a character, stand ready in a sensible way to play the fool.” Melville wasn’t talking about fishermen, but he may as well have been. What are we fly...