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.
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?