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QUEST FOR HOME WATERQuest for Home Waters

Keith R. Stamm

The stories in Quest for Home Waters comprise a cross-section through Keith Stamm's 50-some years of trout fishing experience, most of it as a fly fisherman. Some of them were written from journals kept during his fishing trips, others from memory long after the fact. Each chapter can be read as an individual story, but they all weave their way to tell a much larger story — the quest & struggle of one man to make peace with the contradictions of modern life by going fishing.

Fishing is sometimes viewed as escape —
getting away from the pressures and routines of daily life.
We all seem to need some way to do that,
and it is one reason for“going fishing,”
but going fishing is not only a way to get away from something;
it is escaping into something.

The 26 stories document Keith's quest for home water; ranging from his boyhood Wisconsin spring creeks to treks over steep mountain passes, down ice cold rivers, into mosquito-infested alder swamps. Each tested his strength and endurance, and deepened his knowledge of nature. Many have been a source of enduring friendships. The stories form a history of relentless search for home water in the face of competing water uses and increasing angling pressure — begging the nagging question: is the reality of home water slipping from or grasps? Remember the place you caught your first fish. Does it exist today? Can we still find those places that feed the soul?

As he tells his stories Keith's hope is you not only travel along and "experience" some of what he saw and the awe that he felt. He also hopes to inspire you to plan an adventure you've been putting off for too long, and if so may his stories give you ideas for getting more out of the trip than just catching fish.

Softcover, black-&-white photographs & artwork throughout, 172 pgs.; $15.95

Price -- $15.95
Sorry, this item does not qualify for our "Buy 3 or more
-- books, tapes, videos -- get 10% discount"
Softcover; Item #Quest


Keith Stamm grew up in southwestern Wisconsin close to the famous driftless area spring creeks. Those creeks became his first “home water.” He earned a Ph.D. in mass communications research and taught at the Universities of North Dakota and Indiana before moving to the Northwest in the early 1970s. At the University of Washington he taught and conducted research on the role of mass media in public understanding of environmental issues. Now retired, he continues to fish and explore the waters of the Cascades, Rocky Mountains, and British Columbia, often backpacking into remote areas. He resides in Seattle where he is active in the Olympic Fly Fishers as club scribe and fly tying instructor.
He can be reached at:


“Perhaps it’s known by another name but searching for our own favorite spot is what drives many a fly fisher. Travel with Keith Stamm in his book “Quest for Home Water” and you'll find yourself re-living the effort to identify where that place is that you feel most at home and where you know the trout by their first names. Stamm’s adventures take you from boyhood to adulthood and from Wisconsin to Washington and Oregon and on to British Columbia. Sometimes the search never ends but the adventure is highly worthwhile.
blank— Ray Gould, Author,
Fly Fishing for Kamloops Trout & Constructing Cane Rods

“In order to really capture the essence of being on the water with a fly rod, a story has to stimulate all five senses. HOME WATERS does exactly that and more. Keith Stamm’s writing has depth and not only does he paint a complete picture of the physical world in which he has traveled with a fly rod, but he paints an emotional world as well. He gives the reader an understanding of what it’s like to care deeply for a natural resource and in so doing, we learn what motivates the writer and ultimately that’s the heart and soul of this book. “
blank—Tim Linehan, Owner/Guide, Linehan Outfitting

There are some people who are meant to be fishermen, they are born this way. Nothing can change this about them. You would think that it would be all about the fish, and just catching them. That everything along the way was mere coincidence. But for the born fly fisherman there is a calling, a deep kind of pull within one's soul, a yearning for all things wild, and a way of reading and following the signs. And for them there is no insignificant stone or twig or sunset, no coincidence to anything in the natural world. The waters draw them, across continents, over mountains, into deep canyons, and the fish...the fish. Keith Stamm is one of these people. He writes from the heart. He brings us with him. We are forever changed.
blank— Robert Triggs, Owner/Guide, The Little Stone Fly Fisher

Published on: March, 2012

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