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. Lara Santiago
    June 13, 2011 at 9:23 am
    Reply

    Great story, Leigh!

    Growing up, I also did some fishing with my grandfather and some camping with my parents, however these days I’m pretty much an “indoor” girl. My children are, not surprisingly, are also most content inside and out of the wilderness.

    Reading The Daddy Catch and hearing your stories makes me want to venture outside and try fly fishing…or at least watch someone fly fishing.
    Hugs,
    L

  2. Diana Cosby
    June 13, 2011 at 9:23 am
    Reply

    Hi Leigh,
    I’m with you; I grew up fishing. Okay, why is catching a catfish a bad thing in salt water? 🙂 They’re good eating. Most all of my fishing has been in fresh water, but like you, fishing is a blast!
    The Daddy Catch sounds fabulous. Wishing you every success! *Hugs*

  3. Ann Yost
    June 13, 2011 at 9:27 am
    Reply

    Leigh – What a lovely book. You make fly fishing compelling and even sexy! Our one fishing outing years ago did not garner any fish but there was alot of hysteria about the worms – mostly mine. Congratulations on your find book.

  4. CC Coburn
    June 13, 2011 at 9:28 am
    Reply

    Hi Leigh, What a lovely blog! I’m so looking forward to The Daddy Catch, you’ve made the story and the characters come alive, even in this short blog. 🙂
    I fell in love with the art of flyfishing while watching the movie, A River Run Through It. Who can forget the poetry of the swishing back and forth of the flyline as it teases the fish below and then the last long cast when it inally lands on the water? I learnt to fly fish a couple of years back, but so far no success! The fish just sit there and laugh at me I think. 🙂

  5. Kristen Painter
    June 13, 2011 at 9:28 am
    Reply

    I already have my copy and I can’t wait to read it! Leigh is one of my favorite authors.

  6. Lynda Warnock
    June 13, 2011 at 9:38 am
    Reply

    I’ve never fished – can you imagine that? My dad used to take my brother out but they didn’t think fishing was for girls! Reading The Daddy Catch opened my eyes to just how “complicated” it is, but Jess and Dan almost have me tempted to give it a shot. Thank you for a wonderful story.

  7. Marin Thomas
    June 13, 2011 at 9:40 am
    Reply

    Leigh–I think you picked topic dear to many readers hearts because it brings back memories of their childhood and many of those memories include fishing with fathers and grandfathers. Congrats on the great review!

  8. Caridad Pineiro
    June 13, 2011 at 9:45 am
    Reply

    Great post. I grew up fishing, but usually along the shore. We’d get up on Sunday mornings and head out to do some surf casting. Also took a book along for those down moments when the fish weren’t biting. Always fun.

  9. Lynn D. Page
    June 13, 2011 at 10:04 am
    Reply

    I am so excited about your new book. Can’t wait to read it. I purchased it on June 7th the day it hit the shelves. I too have very fond memories of fishing with my Daddy when growing up. Good Luck and we are all so proud for you. You Go Girl!!!!!!

  10. Wynter Daniels
    June 13, 2011 at 10:12 am
    Reply

    I only went fishing a few times when I was growing up. I was a girly girl and was grossed out by the whole thing! I love being on the water, though and you’re right about seeing environmental issues up close and personal. The Daddy Catch sounds wonderful and what an adorable cover! Congrats!

  11. Cyndi Gordon
    June 13, 2011 at 10:22 am
    Reply

    I really enjoyed reading your blog! Can’t wait to read The Daddy Catch.

  12. Stacey Deibel
    June 13, 2011 at 10:38 am
    Reply

    Good luck with your new book! My children think it is so cool that Tyler, Emma, and Reese’s grandmother is a real author! Love the picture of Tyler.

  13. Sandy bronga
    June 13, 2011 at 10:47 am
    Reply

    I loved the story characters Dan and Jessica. The drive to always protect the environment is a close heartstring item for me. Thank you for bringing this to the readers attention along with pursing love in your life. I loved your first book officers girl, I am in awe of this new release and can’t wait for your next book!!!
    Thank you.
    Sandy

  14. Linda Warren
    June 13, 2011 at 10:54 am
    Reply

    Leigh – Great post. My husband is a avid fisherman and he fishes with a rod and reel. I don’t think he’s ever tried fly fishing, but it sounds like fun. Can’t wait to read The Daddy Catch and find out more about it.

  15. Rachel Hauck
    June 13, 2011 at 11:14 am
    Reply

    Leigh, I love seeing you in your fishing gear. There are so many great places to fish around her.

    My grandfather was an avid fisherman, and my uncle, but my father never caught the passion. But I can remember fishing with velveeta cheese and bread in my grandmother’s creek, trying to catch minnows!

    Best of everything for Daddy Catch! You’re a great writer.

    Rachel

  16. diane burke
    June 13, 2011 at 11:47 am
    Reply

    Even though you have good memories about fishing, I am so glad you didn’t \get your head out of those books\ for long or we’d miss out on some great stories like this one.

  17. Roxanne St. Claire
    June 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm
    Reply

    Great blog, Leigh. I stayed up to the wee hours with Jess and Dan last night…completely captivated by your characters. Your voice is absolutely magnificent, such a pleasure to read. Most of all, you packed so much “love” and so much “story” into this love story, that I was utterly enchanted. Congrats!

  18. Pam
    June 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm
    Reply

    I am looking forward to your book! I used to fish with my dad when I was younger. I have taken my kids once. Thanks!

  19. Judith Keim
    June 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm
    Reply

    Leigh, I have your book and can’t wait to read it!! As a young girl I used to fish in New York State’s Finger Lakes. We caught Sunfish and others and cooked them up for breakfast! Yum!

  20. Megan Kelly
    June 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm
    Reply

    Hi, Leigh! Good to “see” you again. I’m a reluctant fisher — did you know it mostly takes place *outside*? LOL Mosquitoes find me delicious and then they tell their friends. Also biting flies love me. I tell my family it’s because I’m so sweet, but they know better. I also burn easily and have allergies, so outside isn’t my favorite place.
    Like Lynda, my dad only took the boys fishing, but I married a man who taught me to fish. I used to enjoy it but once when the bluegill were active, I couldn’t read any of my book because as soon as I baited the hook and sat back down, the bobber would drop. So I stopped baiting the hook after the first worm. It’s much more relaxing. 🙂
    Congrats. I look forward to reading The Daddy Catch.

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