Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World's Most Alluring Fish” as Want to Read:
Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World's Most Alluring Fish
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World's Most Alluring Fish

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Chris Dombrowski was playing a numbers game: two passions—poetry and fly-fishing; two children, one of them in utero; 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 legendar
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Milkweed Editions
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Body of Water, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Body of Water

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  184 ratings  ·  32 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World's Most Alluring Fish
Mitchell Dietrich
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book. Its not really about fishing, but about living and happiness.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excerpt from my review in "Los Angeles Review of Books":

"It is precisely this sense of communion that fly-fishing guide and poet Chris Dombrowski investigates in "Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World’s Most Alluring Fish." The book is essentially a biography of the “sage” of the title, a bonefishing guide in the Bahamas named David Pinder, and much less about the “seeker,” Dombrowski himself, who has previously published two collections of poetry. “Perhaps the heart of bonefishing is e
Lew Watts
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Four stars if you fly fish...beautifully written.
Mel Raschke
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Deals with a fly fishing guide and his delicate balance with nature and having to take care of a family.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Chris Dombrowski's honesty in sharing intimate details about his life struggles with me as a reader captured my interest from the beginning. The synchronicity of his struggles and how he landed his first trip to the Bahamas made it all the more compelling.

Dombrowski shared details of the delicate balance between native Bahamians with the wealthy landowners who converted the area into a sport fishing destination for the bone fish in his warm prose style.

The most fascinating character, to whom muc
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
2016 was a bountiful year for angling books of every stripe and hue, not just in terms of quantity but in quality too. I read a school’s worth of the year’s bumper crop, among which there were many standouts, by virtue of interesting subject matter, by virtue of quirky, one-off take on angling, or––best of all–– by virtue of engaging prose. The year saw Marcelo Gleiser’s The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected: A Natural Philosopher’s Quest for Trout and the Meaning of Everything, Henry Hughes’ Back ...more
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm not a fisherman, but I'm intrigued by sages and seekers. The author, predictably, is the seeker. The sage is the legendary David Pinder Sr., the Bahamian who knows more about catching the elusive bonefish than any other living person. For 40 years, Pinder guided for the Deep Water Cay fishing club, during which time he passed his knowledge on to his children and grandchildren. Chris Dombrowski seeks him out and returns numerous times to fish with Pinder, not only to observe his uncanny conn ...more
Bradley West
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fishing
This book was a mixed bag. What I liked a lot was the biography of David Pinder, a bonefishing guide in the Bahamas, and tales of the extended Pinder family. I also enjoyed the actual descriptions of sighting and casting to bonefish and other targets (though the author's fish of comparable size seem to run quite a lot farther than mine do). The history of Deep Water Cay Club, its ownership and management changes and relation to the local community started out OK with the Gil Drake Sr. and Jr. st ...more
Anthony Meaney
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you like fishing you will love this book. If you are not an angler you will find a well written account about a fish you didn't know existed.

The Bonefish is a small bony barely edible fish of Carribean waters that attracts sports fisherman because they are very hard to catch and when hooked they run like crazy.

Essential to finding and hooking one of these elusive denizens of shallow clear tropical waters is a good guide. Local guides not only know where the fish feed but can distinguish the
Alex Mitchell
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't fly fish, I don't like fish, but it seems there's almost a cult-like following for those two, so after reading a couple of passages for a college class, I figured I would try this book to educate myself. The book is fine, the author tried his best I feel like.

I do have one pretty harsh criticism of the book though: the author spares himself from any original thought and let's a smattering of quotes to explain his thoughts, over his own. At times, it feels like a crutch. At times, it fee
Russel Chiodo
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Non-fiction written by a poet passionate about the place, people, and action. Dombrowski digs into the history of bonefish angling in the Bahamas, the growing trend of upscale sporting reservations for the wealthy, and the social hardships of life in the islands. Far from his homewaters in Montana and Michigan, Dombrowski describes the islands in the stream as only an outsider with a lifetime of fishing experience can. This makes the enchanting visuals of this book accessible to just about anyon ...more
Cameron Scott
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I. Really. Liked. This. Book.

Some chapters were like poems, some chapters were like chapters. One or two I didn't connect with, but man, oh, man, it is a good thing poets write prose once in a while.

"Body of Water" is thoughtful, introspective, and alive with the magic of place. Some hybrid cross between Craig Child's "Soul of Nowhere" and Ted Leeson's "Habit of Rivers."

I don't read fly-fishing books much anymore, but this one was well worth the read. Especially in winter. Especially wishing I
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A little natural history of the Bahamas, a little biography of one of the original legendary bonefishing guides, a little history of Deep Water Cay, some ecology of saltwater mangrove flats, a lot about the best of all sport fishing- bonefishing on the fly, a plea for smart sustainable resource management and against senseless development, and, at heart, "Zen and the art of bonefishing". Like the cover quote asserts, it should become a classic in fishing literature.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I approached this book with too many expectations, I think, and it was doomed to fall short. I found the writing style and book structure to be very awkward. I'm curious to read his poetry, because the clarity and precision that typically comes with poets writing prose was not evident here. If anything, it was the switch between "poetic" phrasing and informal, direct voice that confused things. Anyway. I wish this book was for me, and I hope it reads better in other hands.
Edward Nugent
Good effort. This is a thorough examination of bone fishing in the Bahamas, the life of bone-fishing guide David Pinder, and the connection of fishermen to fishing, but I'm not sure the foundation is strong enough to support the sometimes eloquent, poetic imagery and language or the metaphysical superstructure.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fishers and hunters and outdoorspeople
Recommended to Bob by: John VL
Excellent recommend by John VL - a memoir by a Montana flyfishing guide, struggling with family and economic reality, who lucks into a bone-fishing trip in the Bahamas with the guru of bonefishers, and discovers again the magic of fish and water and flyfishing zen. The guru's approach to the fish, the sea, the land and the people, reflecting a lifetime spent on this water, is a beautiful reminder of why serious hunters and fishers are often the best and most dedicated stewards of the natural wor ...more
Benjamin Poeschl
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dombrowski is on his way to be the next potent author. Giving his readers the sense that they are wading in the ocean casting their fly to lay eyes on an incredible creature that has changed the lives of scores of Bahamians.
John Moeschler
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Only for those who've tried (and failed, typically) their hand at fly fishing the Bahamas for bonefish. For those who have, this is a lovely small read with many paragraphs that are deeply written.
Matthew Cade
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most brilliant and beautifully written books that I’ve ever read.
Andy Plonka
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: src
I have no interest in fishing but this was a delightful read.
Brendan Farley
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Quinn
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really really good. I have no interest in fishing and I loved it.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a GREAT book - even if one is not into fly fishing or fishing at all. There's a depth to the stories that are shared - an arc, if you will. I learned more about the Bahamas, bone-fish and the history of the place, the people who live there and make their livelihood guiding. In addition, Chris's writing is dense - I often would find myself needing to take a break from reading to consider what it was he was getting at. There was beauty in the writing, as well. His ability to convey the de ...more
Sara Busse
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book because Chris is a friend. I finished this book, because it was beautiful. Not only was it a window into Chris' soul and to all those who's life-force is truly the holy Water - it gave me insight into my husband and is holy Water.

Chris is a poet and it comes across deeply in his aching word choices, deep observations of man, earth and spirit. As a Christian, it widened my lens and took me deeper. As a wife, it gave me empathy and insight. As a friend, it made me proud and inspir
Mary Ellen
Because I winter in Grand Bahamas and know many of the 'characters' in this book it was interesting. Its part book, part poetry. Currently this book is set to be published in October 2016; I rec'd an advance copy.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ocean-fish
Drew me in with a lyrical (but don't worry it's not a poem - my greatest fear!) approach to a scientific narrative. The pages flow like water and I reached the end quickly feeling nourished. Could've sat and flown through it at once.
Lloyd Fassett
Oct 29, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: fiction
10/29/16 found it in the Wall St Journal Sat Review. Sounds like it's about a financially poor fishing guide in the Bahamas
Peter Nowakowski
how can you not like a book like this?
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: outdoors
A nice read about guiding, with some history of Bone fishing in the Bahamas. The writer is a poet and his use of words is unique and adds depth to the stories.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Northwest Akron B...: August: Body of Water, by Chris Dombrowski 3 1 Aug 05, 2020 01:13PM  
longish review of this book and several others 1 1 Dec 30, 2018 11:17AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A River Runs Through It
  • Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter
  • Trout Bum
  • American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon
  • That Wild Country: An Epic Journey through the Past, Present, and Future of America's Public Lands
  • Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers
  • Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy
  • Being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology
  • The Power of Empathy: A Practical Guide to Creating Intimacy, Self-Understanding,and Lasting Love
  • The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment
  • Totally Sufficient: The Bible and Christian Counseling
  • Standing in a River Waving a Stick
  • Trout Eyes: True Tales of Adventure, Travel, and Fly Fishing
  • Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide, Completely Revised and Updated with Over 400 New Color Photos and Illustrations
  • The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon
  • Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea
  • What Your Body Knows about God: How We Are Designed to Connect, Serve and Thrive
  • The Last Season
See similar books…

News & Interviews

  Let’s say it now and say it proud: Horror is back.  This summer, as the world was thrown into uncertainty by a pandemic and our...
96 likes · 28 comments