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Combining Bone Fishing And Poetry Into Memoir

Milkweed Editions

Chris Dombrowski was playing a numbers game: two passions — poetry and fly-fishing; one child, with another on the way; and an income hovering perilously close to zero. Enter, at this particularly challenging moment, a miraculous email: Can’t go, it’s all paid for, just book a flight to Miami. Thus began a journey that would lead to the Bahamas and to David Pinder, a legendary bonefishing guide.

Bonefish are prized for their elusiveness and their tenacity. And no one was better at hunting them than Pinder, a Bahamian whose accuracy and intuition were virtuosic. He knows what the fish think, said one fisherman, before they think it.

By the time Dombrowski meets Pinder, however, he has been abandoned by the industry he helped build. With cataracts from a lifetime of staring at the water and a tiny severance package after forty years of service, he watches as the world of his beloved bonefish is degraded by tourists he himself did so much to attract. But as Pinder’s stories unfold, Dombrowski discovers a profound integrity and wisdom in the guide’s life. Body of Water: A Sage, A Seeker, and the World's Most Alluring Fish relates that found integrity and wisdom in Dombrowski's poetic style.

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Chris Dombrowski

Chris Dombrowski is the author of Body of Water: A Sage, A Seeker, and the World's Most Alluring Fish, as well as two acclaimed collections of poems. Also a fly-fishing guide, Dombrowski lives in Missoula, Montana.

(Broadcasts: 2/2/17 and 7/6/17)

Chérie Newman is a former arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. She founded and previously hosted a weekly literary program, The Write Question, which continues to air on several public radio stations; it is also available online at and
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