Books by Pat Neal
Wildlife Vol 1 was originally published as weekly columns in a newspaper (The Sequim Gazette) that prefers not to be identified for reasons that will become apparent once you read them.Includes, Wally the Weasel, Canoeing the Dungeness, The Horse Whimperer, Saturday Night in the Fifth Reich and more.Published by iUniverse.comprice $9.99
The stories in The Fisherman's Prayer were originally published as weekly columns in The Peninsula Daily News.
Includes, The Fisherman's Prayer. Developed from The Lord's Prayer, given to us by Jesus almost 2000 years ago, The Fisherman's Prayer has been adapted for today's tough fishing conditions. Guide tested, fish approved, do not go fishing without a prayer.Published by iUniverse.comHardcover, 22.95Paperback 12.95
Pat Neal books and cards are available in Port Angeles at Jim's Pharmacy and Port Book and News, and in Forks at Fork's Outfitters, Chinook Pharmacy and A Work In Progress/Cafe Paix
From The Reel News December 2007
Reel Books in Review… by Terry W. Sheely.
Painted with a single curving pen stroke the symbolic Christian fish is an icon on license plate frames, bumper stickers, ant-Darwinism and now performs as an over lay on the fish scales that cover Pat Neal’s new book, “The Fisherman’s Prayer.”
The fish icon is a good fit for this cover although to accurately reflect the content I would have considered adding a winking eye or amusing grin to the fish face. Be assured, there is no trace of sacrilege hiding between the lines or lurking in entendres, but there is a refreshing gust of reality and pragmatics, roadside litter and angling foibles.
Neal’s mossy muse, intriguing insight, river level perspective and been-there-done-that-and-somehow survived brand of humor is a rare blend. It imparts a flavor of common sense, thoughtfulness, quiet chuckles and entertainment while delivering an appreciation for life, for fishing and for the Olympic Peninsula.Neal is a Peninsula fishing guide. A drift boater. A writer. A newspaper columnist for the Peninsula Daily News and now a poet.
The Fisherman’s Prayer is chanted in the wordsmith rhythm of the Lord’s Prayer, but reformulated for “today’s modern fishing conditions” and is not limited to the water. The Fisherman’s Prayer works on all species of fresh and saltwater game fish. “Don’t go fishing without a prayer” warns the book jacket blurb.
This is Neal’s second book. “Wildlife” was released a few years ago to what acclaim I don’t know. I do know that my copy shares a shelf with Richard Brautigan’s “Trout Fishing in America“, (which we all know is not about trout fishing and barely about America), Aldo Leopold’s “Sand County Almanac” ( which is about everything of real importance), six books of Roderick Haig-Brown and John Geirach’s “Another Lousy Day in Paradise”
These are all creative, reflective books packed with buckshot wisdom. Powerful thoughts that dilute and scatter the further they travel downrange, but that no matter how widely patterned are each one capable of delivering a good sting, rousing reaction and provoking thought.I rarely quote more than a line or two of a book usually to present the writing style and skill of the author. I think, however, that several snippets of Pat Neal are called for to get a somewhat accurate line on his thought process, his agenda and his insight.See what you think.
“Albacore have never been more abundant. Maybe it’s just a coincidence but they are not currently being managed by the State of Washington.”“LaPush used to be the best salmon fishing hole in Washington. With the miracle of salmon mismanagement and global warming it has been transformed into tuna town.”
“We notice spoor along the river’s edge. Donut boxes, coffee cups, and snoose cans that tell the old guide it’s a morning bite in this hole. If there had been a mess of beer cans on the beach you’d know it was a night fishing hole. This is what we call matching the hatch".
“I remember one client asked me to make him a sandwich. I told him, we’re not married, so you can’t talk to me that way. Besides, I’m the one rigging up rotten globs of fish eggs, shrimp and herring all day. Do you really want me anywhere near your food?”
“I think it was the famous French philosopher What’s His Name, who said, ’Hell is other fishermen.’ With the population ballooning out of control, there are bound to be more and more fishermen clogging up our rivers. All of these fishermen have one thing in common: They come to the Olympic Peninsula seeking solitude.”
“Since becoming a fishing guide, people have been constantly asking me how much it costs to go fishing. So far, fishing has cost me everything.”“Fishing may not be a matter of life and death. Maybe it’s much more important than that.”