When angler and author Stephen Sautner bought a streamside cabin and some land in the heart of fly fishing country in the Catskill Mountains, he thought he had finally reached angling nirvana and would be able to fish whenever he felt like it. Little did he know what loomed: a series of historical floods, a land rush over fracking for natural gas, and constant battles with invasive species, plagues of caterpillars, and other pests. He takes on all of these threats – between casts for wild trout and other gamefish – and along the way gains a better understanding of stewardship and the interconnectedness between angling and the natural world.
Praise for A Cast in the Woods:
“New York State's ban on fracking was one of the great triumphs of modern environmentalism, and behind it lay a thousand individual stories of resistance. None has been better told than this one, by a worthy Catskills heir to the literary tradition of John Burroughs and a man who has earned his fishing.”--Bill McKibben, author Radio Free Vermont
“If you love wild woods and wild trout, Sautner’s word magic will transport you to the best of both. His battle to preserve them from a daunting array of natural and unnatural forces amuses even as it instructs and inspires.” --Ted Williams, outdoor writer and environmental journalist
Ever since he saw his older brother lose an enormous summer flounder off a dock at the New Jersey Shore when he was 12 years old, Stephen Sautner has been trying to catch fish. Any fish. In 2007, he edited Upriver and Downstream, an anthology of fishing stories from the "Outdoors" column of The New York Times, and has been an active contributor to the column since 1994. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Fly Rod & Reel, Wildlife Conservation, and Underwater Naturalist. Along with Sautner’s 15 years of contributing to the NY Times, he is also the director of communications for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo, where he publicizes the Society’s conservation programs. He lives in Scotch Plains, NJ.