The Lightning Thread David Profumo Orvis

The Lightning Thread: Fishological Moments and The Pursuit of Paradise | More Than A Book About Fishing

Written by: Sarah Burgess

The Lightning Thread: Fishological Moments and The Pursuit of Paradise

Following the popular Orvis UK Fish in the Reads Virtual Series, David Profumo is back to discuss his forthcoming book, The Lightning Thread: Fishological Moments and The Pursuit of Paradise, which is on sale on 27th May 2021, as part of the Orvis Virtual Mayfly Festival. Get ready for more than just another book about fishing!

This is one of the most exciting times of the angling year, especially with mayfly season imminent – there’s also the chance to join in the Orvis Virtual Mayfly Festival which celebrates this wonderful month, and later (on June the 25th) there will be held on the banks of the Test the first-ever Orvis Fish In The Reads literary festival, at which I will be reading from my forthcoming book The Lightning Thread: Fishological Moments and the Pursuit of Paradise, a mixture of personal memoir and essays (based on six decades of angling in some forty different countries), that explores some of the ways in which there truly is more to fishing than just the business of Catching Fish. 

More Than A Fishing Book 

I have been lucky enough to receive some generous advance endorsements. They all agree, this is more than just another fishing book.

  • Tom Stoppard: “David Profumo has fished everywhere man and boy, and come back with his creel crammed with adventures and misadventures- a memoir for every fisherman’s bookshelf” 
  • Prue Leith: “An angling master who wears his knowledge lightly, and a dazzling writer. Everyone remotely interested in fishing, or writing, would love this book.” 
  • Luke Jennings: “With wit, quiet craft, and a lifetime’s store of piscatorial wisdom, Profumo draws us into his paradise. Angling, he teaches us, is the continuation of childhood by other means.” 
  • Loyd Grossman: “A fabulous confection of history, biology, philosophy, and memoir…spiked with wit and crafted with precision and style.” 
  • Thomas McGuane: “Unimaginable that any fisherman could put it down.” 

My heart sometimes sinks when I see the announcement of yet another book about fishing– can there really be that much new to say on the subject? My approach in The Lightning Thread is to mix personal memoir with essays on different aspects of angling (the weather, drink, disaster, superstition) as a way of exploring that old maxim, ‘There’s more to fishing than the mere business of catching fish’. 

Since the age of five – that’s six decades ago, now – I have been in thrall to our pastime, and it has acted like a running thread connecting so many of the stages in my life. This book is therefore the anatomy of a passion. As a journalist, I have been lucky enough to fish in some forty different countries, yet I am still as thrilled by a day’s burn fishing, or a trip after mackerel, as ever I was. The Lightning Thread is my attempt to communicate something of this magic, and not just to preach to the converted, but perhaps to those puzzled outsiders who have never understood what all the fuss was about. 

Although it ranges from minnows to marlin, bleak to bonefish, the book has quite a lot to say about salmon – both here and abroad. 

Festivals, Pre-Orders, & More

Don’t forget, The Lightning Thread: Fishological Moments and The Pursuit of Paradise goes on sale 27th May, 2021 as part of the Orvis Virtual Mayfly Festival!

The Lightning Thread is published by Scribner and to pre-order signed copies of David’s book, please visit

To attend the Orvis Fish in the Reads Festival, book your ticket by visiting:

See the full schedule for the Orvis Virtual Mayfly Festival here:

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