View Full Version : middleton

07-25-2008, 01:46 PM
finished "on the spine of time" for the 2nd time last night--out of curiosity,typed in Harry Middleton then hit enter--wikipedia says he is considered to be the best fishing writer ever!found a literary forum in which someone asks if there is anyone who knew middleton personally--he is answered by a girl who lived across the street from middleton--she was the middleton's babysitter--she said Mr. Middleton was soft spoken,and very nice to her--she never read any of his books--also says she heard he liked fly fishing and tended to drift into depressions and he was gone a lot-- I posted "If he loved the Smokies so much,I wonder why he never made an attempt to settle close by,the people and streams of the Smokies obviously inspired him"Was promptly answered by "Sinbad" who knew middleton through the publishing co he used--he scoured the SMNP countryside looking for property,he wanted badly to live adjacent to the Smokies.Middleton's problem was he had no money,or credit,so buying expensive property was out of the question,so he loved the Smokies from afar,the world of reality was less than perfect for him and like Mozart ,MIddleton created in his own world which was far from money and credit issues.
"the best fishing writer ever" takes in a lot of ground--Hemingway,McClean etc.-"Spine" is a great book--there is that "what could have been" saddness that stalks the reader on every page of the book--I wonder what became of his boys and his wife?

07-25-2008, 09:14 PM
did the same thing myself this summer (sure you found out his last occupation was a garbage collector). I love him 'cause he's just like us, you can't have what you most want but you still love it and dream it.

You do need to read if you haven't "The Earth Is Enough" (Fishing, Trout and Old men) It's about his youthful days in the Ozarks. I read it again when my wife and I went to Townsend this past month. as you can tell by the quote I love Hemingway but Harry was special.

07-27-2008, 01:26 AM
I have read most of his book. All of them (I think) except the Starlight Creek Angling Society. Never found a copy for less than $ 350.00. I hope his family is well. There was a time in Middleton's life when he must have been fairly prosperous, when he was working for Southern Living. He was fired from that job, seemingly never got over it.......... a shame. I would have loved to have run into him on Hazel (listening to the bagpipes) or Slickrock or more likely up on Snowbird. I have looked for Arby Mulligan, I could use the blessing. I need to read OTSOT again, can't remember the names so well anymore. He definitely had a phase in his life when the Smokies were very dear to him. I have been very weary of potato salad ever since reading On The Spine Of Time! And lastly; if I eat a wild trout in the back country, it is always with hot sauce.
I will recommend "The Earth is Enough", a great read.
The others are "Rivers of Memory" snd "The Bright Country".

07-29-2008, 02:53 PM
Best fishing writer ever? Hmmm......

ever read any Nick Lyons? Fairly unknown around here, but my favorite fishing author by far.

07-31-2008, 12:10 AM
Only if you are new to the sport! He is a national figure....... and probably the largest publisher of flyfishing books in the country or was, he may have sold the publishing company.

07-31-2008, 06:20 PM
I think I read that he retired and his son(s) run it now.


08-01-2008, 08:54 PM
i read stairlite creek by middleton checked it out thru knoxville library , very short book ,read it in one evening.

Ky Tim
08-02-2008, 09:48 AM
I have read all of his books except Starlight Creek Angling Society."

The Bright Country is an interesting read because he is in Colorado and is diagnosed with depression after he lost his job.

As far as best fishing writer ever, I don't know, in my opinion you would be hard pressed to top John Gierach.

08-02-2008, 05:11 PM
once you have read one of John's ,you have read them all .i have all his books but all the same read just different places.