Return to the River remains one of the finest books ever written about the salmon and has won its place as an angler’s and naturalist’s classic. Drawn back again to spawn in the stream that hatched them, the deep-sea salmon, the great silver chinooks, return as inevitably as the September rains. Return to the River captures the whole sweep of the chinook migration in every significant detail: the departure seaward of the millions of small fry in the spring of the second year, the saltwater life of the free-swimming schools in the deeps beyond Puget Sound, the later return of the survivorssixty- and eighty-pounders that leap against every obstacle, striving to complete their lives at last among upland shallows barely deep enough to contain them. Roderick Haig-Brown, observing with the trained eye of the naturalist what he records with a novelist’s skill, here sets forth the dramatic life history of one salmon from her hatching through her matingthe fulfillment of her life cycle. The supple, rapid style, vigorous as the great fish itself,” wrote Joseph Henry Jackson in the San Francisco Chronicle, makes this account as easy reading as fiction.”
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