Field and Stream

John Merwin loved fishing,

- — D.E.P.

but flyfishing was a sacrament, and he took the magazine’s piscatoria­lly oriented editors streamside to show them how it should be done. There, Merwin hovered like a malignant heron, watching the water, doing God knows what computatio­ns, and finally he would cast, and there would be a fish where his fly landed.

No one who watched Merwin did not come away awed, and no one was able to duplicate what he had seen. He applied the same grace and expertise to his writing, and readers were often left similarly awed.

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