Lots of fishing stories contain the same three ingredients -- a body of water, a large fish and an angler to write the stupendous story of catching it.
These heroic-angler tales still flow steadily from the pages of sporting magazines, though some notable writers have waded in a different direction.
One of them is Minnesota author Kent Cowgill, whose delightful new book of short stories, "Sunlit Riffles and Shadowed Runs," has just been published. These fishing tales are fiction, but don't laugh -- they have the ring of truth. Though the stories may take place on lakes and in trout streams, Cowgill is writing about people, regret, jealousy and death.
This collection of stories, covering two decades of his work, shows that he is among the best writers in this genre. He is an emeritus English professor at Winona State University.
The bonus for readers in the Midwest is that many of the 16 stories are set in southeast Minnesota's familiar trout country.