On the evening of July 27, 1985, five hikers made a fateful choice to climb Yosemite’s fabled Half Dome even as the sky darkened and thunder rolled. By night’s end, two would be dead from a lightning strike, three gravely wounded, and desperate EMT’s would be overseeing a harrowing post-midnight helicopter rescue.
SHATTERED AIR: A True Account of Catastrophe, Courage and Rescue on Yosemite’s Half Dome (Burford Books; June 2005; now in paperback at $15, by Bob Madgic, is a tautly written account of recklessness, tragedy, courage and rescue, a book whose depiction of nature’s fearsome power is tempered by unforgettable portraits of human courage and the will to survive.
This guidebook presents ways that fish can be grouped for identification and study purposes, a rationale on the ecological importance of native fish species, and an identification of habitat conditions necessary for maintaining healthy fisheries. It contains a brief history of California fishes, beginning with the once abundant coldwater fishery native to the state, to the many introduced species brought to California. The impact of dams, reservoirs and hatcheries is discussed, as well as the significance of governmental legislation such as the Federal Endangered Species Act. Information of recent activities of fish biologists and governmental agencies can be found throughout this book. By way of summary, the author presents a stewardship agenda for preserving California’s rich fish heritage.
Pursuing Wild Trout chronicles Bob Madgic’s growing awareness of the importance of wilderness values. In an entertaining and often humorous style, the book traces over twenty-five years of his experiences in fishing for wild trout in the canyon rivers of the central Sierra Nevada in California, and his discoveries on how wilderness contains the essential meanings of life. It also relates Bob Madgic’s own transformation from a bait fisherman who carted home all of the fish he caught to a fly fisher who now carefully releases all of his catches. The angler will learn effective fly fishing strategies for the most prized trout—wilderness trout that Madgic defines as "wild trout little impacted by humans."