Last Summer on the Sage | Derek Bird

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After his first fly-fishing trip of the season along his favorite section of the Sage River, Ryan and his best friend’s sister, stumble along in the late-evening’s low light toward their vehicle. Along the path, they encounter a trio of unruly men, and in an ensuing encounter, Ryan fights to defend her honor and ends up unconscious in the river as it carries him away. He’s discovered by an individual who does not want to be discovered, and circumstances force the two to embark on a life-altering relationship.

Through the summer Ryan searches for his father, for clear direction, and for willing trout. With exception of the trout, it’s not what he searches for that provides him with clarity but what he accidently discovers that helps him better understand his path through life.

Last Summer on the Sage is a coming-of-age novel written for anyone who’s ever lived the euphoria of young love or wondered what’s around the next bend. The words will connect with those who ponder the purpose of a dead end or doubt whether there’s meaning in hurt. Ryan’s story reveals that in a life full of consequential questions, there’s deep importance in taking the time to do something as seemingly inconsequential as casting flies to trout.


“Many people are familiar with Derek’s writing in Fly Fusion magazine, but not many have read his fiction. But it turns out he’s good at that too. And he writes the way he fishes, with dedication, passion, careful attention to detail, and uncommon skill. Last Summer on the Sage will please lovers of trout, trout streams, and words.”

--Jim McLennan, Outdoor author and host of the Fly Fusion Series

“Fly fishing is a love story. I know, it has been my story. And like the lives of the characters in this pleasing novel by Derek Bird, it has had unique twists and turns that have led places even the imagination dare not go. Fly fishing sings a song of life, and this novel sings the harmony.”

--Gary Borger, Best-selling author and fly-fishing educator

“Last Summer on the Sage is a riveting tale of love and suspense. It had me on the edge of my seat, anxiously turning each page to see what was around the next river bend."

--April Vokey, Host of Anchored Outdoors


About the Author:

Derek Bird grew up fly fishing Rocky Mountain streams in British Columbia’s Kootenay region. His passion for catching trout takes him to some of North America’s most remote destinations. When he’s confined indoors, he makes the best of it by writing about his outdoor adventures. He is the founding editor of Fly Fusion Magazine, where you can find his regular column. He is also the co-host of the Fly Fusion Series and the lead writer for Fly Fusion Films. Last Summer on the Sage is Bird’s first novel.