When I worked as the Editor of the newsletter for the aforementioned Trout Unlimited chapter, I was lucky to receive a few article submissions from Perry. The article that stands out in my mind is a fly tying article he wrote about his Black Horse Fly that he tied with hair from his black horse. It was by far the funniest article I ever received in my time as Editor, and I go back in the archives of my computer every so often just to read it and have a laugh. He also ties a Red Horse Fly, which is pictured below.
When I heard that Perry had written a book - actually two books now - I knew I wanted to read one of them, but up until recently I hadn't found the time to. I could blame my four kids and busy schedule on that, and I think I will. But I recently put my schedule on hold and told my kids to leave me alone for a few days so I could have some time to read Perry's first book, Katz Creek and Other Stories. It's a collection of sixteen short stories, all of which revolve around fly fishing. But the fly fishing is just a part of the stories. Young love, hi-jinks, adventure, beaver dams, and small town life all play significant roles. And Perry's subdued sense of humor is a constant factor, as well.
The stories aren't long, which is just the way I like them. I love a good short story that I can get into and out of in one sitting, and most of the stories in Katz Creek and Other Stories fit that bill. The longest is the title story, Katz Creek, which is made up of seven short chapters. Otherwise the longest story is under 10 pages long. Though short, Perry's concise writing style packs a lot of story into a small space.
I very much enjoyed every story in the book, but I think my favorite might be Secret Love. It has everything you could ask for: young love, small town life, brook trout, adventure, and just when you think you've got it all figured out, Zwing!, Perry throws in a curve ball that you weren't expecting. At least I wasn't expecting it...
Perry claims that the stories in his two books are works of fiction, but it is very easy to think that many, if not all of them, might be at least loosely based on fact. It all seems like it could really have happened, which I would say is the mark of a great writer. After reading Katz Creek and Other Stories, I can't wait to read Perry's other book, Fishing Lessons, as soon as I have another opportunity to put my schedule on hold...
For more info on Perry Palin's books, you can email him directly at email@example.com, or go to whitefishpress.com.