What is really fun about this new book is how the authors open up the mountain, they show us what the opportunities are, both on the west side of the Pacific Crest Trail and on the east side.
Anyone who has spent any time at all learning the rivers and lakes of the Cascades south of the Columbia and north of Mt. Jefferson knows who Robert Campbell is. Now you can see the Clackamas River and the Sandy through his eyes, but you also get to walk with him, figuratively, as he unlocks the secrets of the Zigzag and of Badger Lake and others.
Lewis' influence is felt in more of the eastside chapters, but you get a glimpse of how he spent his youth, beating the brush with a fishing rod in hand and a box of flies or spinners in his hip pocket.
This book also has contributions from Dave Kilhefner (that's his shot of a wild Sandy River steelhead on the cover), from Terry Otto (Smock Prairie Reservoir) and Blake Miller, who describes how to find hidden still water jewels with just a map and a GPS in hand. Which brings up a point . . .
There is more water on and around Mount Hood than one person could get to know in a lifetime. Fishing Mount Hood Country touches on some of the waters we've all heard of and a few, I confess, I'd never heard of before. But there were some creeks and a few lakes and ponds that were left out. I get that. Campbell and Lewis strike a balance that defines or outlines 40 fisheries and whets the appetite to discover dozens of others not discussed in these pages.
The whole book is presented in color with one or more pictures on every page. It's obvious the authors spent a lot of time on this project. Take a look at the close-up shots, the details of fins and tails. This isn't stock photography, each one of those fish are representative of the waters they were taken from. And they are all different, reflecting the habitats they come from. There are several good examples of coastal cutthroat, for instance, and not a one of them looks like another, because every one is a jewel, a gift.
And this is the real spirit of Fishing Mount Hood Country. You sense that the authors and contributors have never lost their sense of awe.
Fishing Mount Hood Country by Gary Lewis and Robert H. Campbell, Gary Lewis Outdoors, copyright 2015, $24.95, 128 pages, ISBN: 978-0-9761244-6-7. Available in bookstores and on the web at www.garylewisoutdoors.com and at www.amazon.com