Winner of the Roderick-Haig Brown Prize. The Bella Coola River, now closed to steelhead fishing because the stocks are endangered, is a magnificent sight. Flowing through the stunning richness of British Columbia's temperate rain forest, the Bella Coola River is one of the worldÌs celebrated fishing streams. In this poetic and powerful book, Mark Hume describes a year in the life of the river as he fly-fishes for the fairylike whitefish, the legendary bull trout, the spirited cutthroat or the elusive steelhead. Along the way he describes the incredible beauty and fecundity of the valley ecosystem through the seasons, examines what has happened to that increasingly endangered ecosystem and its inhabitants in recent times, and encounters other anglers, old-timers who have fished the river for decades, and an abundance of wildlife. In January, Hume portrays the deep winter, when wood frogs, beetles and butterfly larvae may become frozen alive, when the snow on the mountains is stacked in steeples and when it is often too cold to fish. In June, when the river is discoloured by glacial silt and the rapids between pools deepen, he observes a clot of men fishing, their spinning rods propped on the river bank while they drink coffee, and wages a dramatic battle with a chinook salmon. And in October, he witnesses the miracle of salmon spawning, draws an intriguing parallel between commercial hunting and commercial fishing, meets a buck with tattered velvet hanging from one horn, and catches and releases a spectacular steelhead. Also available in hardcover.