Steve Ramirez's follow-up to Casting Forward
available for preorder now
In writing this book, author, naturalist, and educator Steve Ramirez traveled thousands of miles by plane, motor vehicle, boat, and foot. In the course of this journey, Ramirez explores and fishes mountain streams, alpine lakes, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, desert canyons, brackish water estuaries, and the rolling ocean off the coast of Cape Cod. About half of this book was written while traveling through the COVID-19 pandemic and it touches on the lessons that COVID can teach us about nature and human nature.
In Casting Onward, the author expands beyond the geographical scope of Casting Forward by fishing for native fish across American, within their original habitats and telling the story in part through the eyes of the people who have lived alongside, and come to love, these waters and fish. Woven throughout these adventures are the stories of the people he meets and befriends while pursuing a mutual love of nature as the first criterion for finding common ground.
This is a hopeful story, in an all-too-often seemingly hopeless time. It is a story of fishing and friendship. It is a story of humanity’s impact on nature, and nature’s impact on humanity.
In Casting Forward, naturalist, educator, and writer Steve Ramirez takes the reader on a year-long journey fly-fishing all of the major rivers of the Texas Hill Country.
This is a story of the resilience of nature and the best of human nature. It is the story of a living, breathing place where the footprints of dinosaurs, conquistadors, and Comanches have mingled just beneath the clear spring-fed waters. This book is an impassioned plea for the survival of this landscape and its biodiversity, and for a new ethic in how we treat fish, nature, and each other.
an excerpt from “Devils”
When we reached the top of the last hill, we could see the river below. It flowed clear and cold beneath the sycamores, live oaks, desert willows, and endless cobalt sky. The sounds of birds of every type and color were amazing. Two great kiskadees were screaming like monkeys in the treetops as vermillion flycatchers, painted buntings, hooded orioles, and black-chinned hummingbirds darted among the cactus. Red-eared slider turtles slipped into the river as we approached, and the funnel nose of a soft-shelled turtle poked up for a breath of air. Racerunner lizards slithered along the pathway while spiny lizards hung upside down inside small cliffside caves. Looking straight up toward the sky, we saw black vultures riding the warm air currents just above the thousand-foot-high cliff face. The Devil’s River is an oasis in the desert. It is magical.
From the Foreword
of Casting Forward,
If you are an angler or even if you just love wild things and wild places, don’t miss this important book by Steve Ramirez—poet, philosopher, outdoor wordsmith, hunter, fisherman, naturalist, and United States Marine.
It’s a book with plenty of fishing for beautiful native species North American anglers don’t often encounter and, in many cases, don’t even know about. And all scenes are described in words that put you in the streams, feeling the cool push of spring water against your waders, scenting fresh earth, wildflowers, new and old leaves, hearing the songs and calls of birds, watching hatching insects and rising fish, reacting to gentle takes and savage strikes. But it’s not a fishing book.
It’s an eloquent ode to Ramirez’s beloved Texas Hill Country, a journal of personal healing, and a lesson for all anglers that there’s far more to fishing than fish—that when we pay attention to the life and geology around fish, fishing becomes far more than a sport.
by Ted Williams