Fly Fishing and Romance – A Winning Combination

Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Leigh Duncan whose latest release, The Daddy Catch from Harlequin American Romance was nominated for book of the week at Long and Short Reviews! She’s stopped by the blog today to discuss her other love: fishing! Perfect topic for a warm summer day like today.

by Leigh Duncan, author The Daddy Catch (Harlequin American Romance, June 2011)

Growing up in Florida before the days of theme parks and Shuttle launches meant I learned how to fish and read at about the same time.  Reading was usually my first choice, but most weekends, Mom encouraged my sister and me to, “Get your heads out of those books and get outside.”

We’d dig up some worms, tie on a hook and toss a line in the nearest puddle.  A rod in one hand, sometimes a book in the other, we’d wait for our bobbers to dip.

Occasionally, Mom or Dad would hear that the fishing was better someplace else, so we’d pack an ice chest, hook the pop-up trailer onto the back of the station wagon, and drive until we reached the new fishing hole.  At which point, my sister and I would break out our rods and reels.  We could have lived without the driving and camping part but, for some reason, our parents thought a change of scenery was good for us.

Eventually, I married a man who loves to fish even more than I do, and he constantly challenges himself.  So while I stick with my rods and reels, he’s become an avid fly fisher.

Done well, fly fishing is sheer poetry.  The seemingly effortless, back-and-forth movement of the rod.  The graceful looping of the line.  The gentle whisper as the fly lands on the surface of the water.  Fly fishing is the sport my husband loves and I enjoy…watching.  Especially when he’s the fisherman.

These days, we do most of our fishing from a boat, and I have to say that becoming a boat owner has deepened my concern for our environment.  It’s one thing to hear how run-off from fertilizers and pesticides damages our rivers.  It’s something else to drive a boat across acres and acres of barren flats where there isn’t enough sea grass to hide a small trout or redfish.  It’s made me see how quickly our natural landscape is disappearing.



The author Leigh Duncan with a dreaded catfish (when fishing in salt water, catching a catfish is not a good thing.)


Leigh Duncan’s husband teaching their grandson how to fly fish.


The Pine Island Conservation Area at the north end of Merritt Island, FL was the inspiration for the fictional Phelps Cove in The Daddy Catch.

All of that, and my love of a good story came together in The Daddy Catch, my second book for Harlequin American Romance.  Just as there aren’t any easy answers when it comes to our environment, there aren’t any easy solutions for this hero and heroine.

Dan Hamilton is a foster care success story whose wildest dreams are within reach when he’s asked to join in building a medical center on Florida’s east coast.  Widowed Jessica Cofer wants little more than to help her young son grow into an honest man and preserve the natural beauty of Phelps Cove.

But when Dan costs her little boy the catch of a lifetime, Jess seriously considers stranding the interloper in the Cove where mosquitoes will carry him off… if the panthers don’t get him first.

That’s just one of many tough choices Dan and Jess face in The Daddy Catch.  The more these two learn about each other’s goals, the more difficult their choices become.

One of the many things I like most about writing for Harlequin American Romance is that it gives me the chance to share the things I love with others. How about you?  What kind of outdoor activities does your family enjoy?  Do you have a favorite camping or fishing story you’d like to share?

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Comments ( 36 )
  1. Jennifer Waggoner
    June 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm
    Reply

    Leigh, I really enjoyed your blog and can’t wait to read your new book! I was just telling my mom about you and she really wants to read both of your books now! Congrats on your new book and thanks for raising such a wonderful daughter, she’s such a blessing to us!

  2. Robin Mattox
    June 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    Reply

    Such an interesting story, Leigh! My girls think it’s so neat that Emma and Reese’s grandmother is a real author! Congratulations on you newest book!

  3. Heather Lewis
    June 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    Reply

    I look forward to reading your book on the beach this summer! Congratulations on all your success!

  4. linda s
    June 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm
    Reply

    Love fishing tales and am loving your book. Tying a fly is way higher on my impossible skills list than even quilting is. Me, trees, tangled fishing lines… my fishing history is short and sad. My sister and I did spend a lot of Saturdays with garbage bags cleaning the shore lines, though, while all the others fished.

  5. Marie Clark
    June 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    Reply

    Some of my fondest memories growing up involved fishing. My grandfather took us out to a pond or the river and showed us how to cast a rod. The thrill of feeling that little jerk on your line!
    Can’t wait to read your new book!

  6. Jen Rutledge
    June 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm
    Reply

    I love the pictures! Can’t wait to read the newest book.

  7. Jamie Hamilton
    June 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm
    Reply

    What a great story! Can’t wait to read the book.

  8. susanmeier
    June 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm
    Reply

    It is a great book! Loved it.

    Also love the pix in this blog, Leigh!

    susan

  9. Pam Wentz
    June 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm
    Reply

    Your blog makes me want to go fishing with my family! I look forward to reading your new book! Good luck with everything!

  10. tracey dier
    June 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm
    Reply

    Loved this book..Really enjoyed reading about the MI area.Good Luck..

  11. Ginga
    June 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm
    Reply

    Leigh, hat’s off to you girl. I love the story. Congrats on your success!

  12. Cynthia D'Alba
    June 14, 2011 at 8:33 am
    Reply

    Late to the party! Great blog. Wonderful book. I enjoyed reading it SO MUCH.

    And I’m thrilled for you with all the excellent (and on target!) reviews.

  13. Bryan
    June 14, 2011 at 11:48 am
    Reply

    Very cool Blog. The books sounds great. Can’t wait to read it.

  14. Kara Wills
    June 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    Reply

    I can’t wait to read this book, as I’m sure it’ll reignite the warm memories of my childhood. Waking up in the middle of the night and getting ready for a day of fishing with my father and my sister in New York State or Pennsylvania. You’re an incredible writer who can blanket your readers with that warmth and good feeling 🙂

  15. Kimberly Keys
    June 15, 2011 at 9:31 am
    Reply

    Throughly enjoyed your post and am looking forward to reading the Daddy Catch!

  16. Pamela Bolds
    June 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm
    Reply

    Great Blog!! Loved your book Officers Girl. Am looking forward to the Daddy Catch. Sure makes me miss that area and all the talk of fishing takes me back to the days of my youth at Granny’s Pond. Makes me want to wet a hook too!! Keep up the Great Works!!

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