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The books of Mike Reuther

23 May

Mike Reuther
Do you like fiction, humor, baseball, fishing? How about books on writing? Mike Reuther is a longtime newspaper journalist who has a special fondness for books and literature. Check out the link below and explore his world.


FREE book – Jan. 17

17 Jan

Buy this book – 99 cents. Limited offering

4 Jan

Mike Reuther’s fiction often involves characters searching for that certain connection in their lives. The Dude Who Wanted Out is no exception.

You can download this ebook for just 99 cents Jan. 4 & 5.

Sneak look at my latest book

28 Dec

Jack McAllister knew every hatch on every trout stream of Central Pennsylvania. Much of his life revolved around casting dry flies, wet flies, nymphs and other food imitations at that elusive creature known as the trout. He would have it no other way. Jack had gained a reputation as one of the most respected fly fisherman in the state, a dubious distinction in that it gained him no great rewards or wide renown other than that realized in fly-fishing circles.

His had been a mostly quiet life–a true trout bum’s existence–one of fishing, guiding and tying flies. In Jack’s mind, nothing was finer than catching an evening hatch down at the Shad River, just before dusk, when the trout were rising. Jack built this life for himself, an unhurried and quiet existence in this remote mountain area where the living was easy, and a man’s word was as good as a handshake. But it all changed in the year of the Great Green Drake Hatch.

In the years before the arrival of the Great Green Drake Hatch, when Memorial Day weekend in the Green Spring Valley was nothing more than a camper’s holiday and many a fly fisherman would have been hard put to find the Shad on the map, things had been different. In those days, Jack’s home was a ramshackle cabin just a long cast from the Shad. He had lived well there, perhaps even somewhat happily, or at least in a state that didn’t approach anything that could be even remotely referred to as misery.

Happiness, as Jack liked to say, was a damn elusive proposition, but with proper planning, you could latch onto it, and then “hold on like hell” as if you’re hooking up with one of the Shad River’s healthy sized Brown Trout.

“Hell, even if it breaks your damn line, you can have yourself a nice ride,” Jack had said more than once to Max Soothsayer.

Soothsayer nodded and smiled as he gazed out toward the water.

Jack and Soothsayer had spent countless hours together wading the pools of the Shad and the other streams feeding into it. Soothsayer was getting along in years now, and didn’t head out to fish as much as he had in his younger days. A bum knee forced him to use a wading staff even in the calmest stretches of water. Most of his time was spent tying flies in the back of the Roll Cast, the general store off Route 6 he owned, where Jack dropped in nearly every day for a sandwich, to meet a client needing guiding, or for the latest gossip. Although it was in truth a store, it was also part barroom, part eatery and more or less the social center of the village, that is, if you could call the half-dozen homes clustered nearby along Route 6 a village of any kind. Many of the homes were summer cottages, used by hunters or trout fishermen who could be depended upon to show up at the Shad every spring.

Soothsayer was one of the few people Jack could stand to be around for any stretch of time. For one thing, Soothsayer had more knowledge about the Shad River hatches than anyone he knew. Soothsayer also had a keen sense of just what the fish would take. More than once Jack had come tromping into Soothsayer’s store in his waders, frustrated over a particularly troublesome hatch the trout were feeding ravenously upon, but which were ignoring his every cast. Soothsayer, always calm in a crisis, would make a few simple suggestions, or perhaps calmly trim the hackles off some of Jack’s flies before sending him back out to the water. Often, Soothsayer’s sage advice turned around what had been a horrible fishing day.

It was true that Jack loved to fish so passionately that he was thought to be a little off his nut by the local folks. Indeed, he was obsessed with the whole business of catching trout. Jack was never able to explain this fever or love affair or whatever the hell it was he had with fly fishing, but he didn’t have much time for folks who elevated fly fishing to art or religion or other nonsense either. Damn it. He just liked to fish. Being out on the water with a fly rod when the trout were surfacing to grab white mayflies or March Browns or sulphurs. Well … there was just no better time to be alive as far as Jack was concerned.

He’d fished the Shad and every one of its feeder streams from Green Spring Valley to the New York state line. And if there as any prettier stretch of God’s lush landscape or any more productive trout water in America than that fifty-mile swath of terrain, he’d be damned if he knew where it was.

He’d been on some of those legendary trout streams out West and wet his line on more than a few of the other rivers famous for big brown trout, in the Adirondacks and up through Vermont. He took trips every August out to Montana with the local Trout Unlimited group for some serious angling on the fabled waters of the Madison River. But the Shad River right back here in Pennsylvania remained his favorite.

Jack didn’t claim to be a poet but there was something about the Shad he couldn’t quite put his finger on. He knew damn well that to the non-fishing crowd there was probably nothing special about the Shad. It was hardly the sort of stream that drew the canoeists, the kayakers searching for a white-water thrill. A narrow meandering sort of stream, its waters often ran shallow. In a dry summer, it became little more than a trickle in a lot of places, creating marginal trout water and lean economic times for him and Soothsayer. Summer brought a few hikers and campers but few anglers.

Before the arrival of the Great Green Hatch the Shad had been a decently productive trout stream holding the usual amount and variety of insect hatches. It had a fly-fishing only section and a handful of the more noted members of the fly-fishing fraternity were known to occasionally make appearances at the stream. Then came the Green Drake Hatch. It had been something not unlike a religious awakening for the Shad.

Fishing novel just released

21 Dec

Lonely guys on a mountaintop

4 Aug

“A blonde, a brunette and a couple of dogs,” Ritter said hopefully.

Moran nodded. It was the confident nod of a sage, who knew the score. “Are you sure Jon? I mean … it’s late October for God’s sakes, and there’s a chance of snow. I don’t think a pair of voluptuous women are going to venture up into these hills this time of year.”

“I didn’t say they were voluptuous for Pete’s sake,” Ritter said.

“Well … the way you described them ol’ chum. I mean … ”

Ritter picked up a piece of wood and poked at the campfire. “I think I said, they looked fetching … at least from a distance.” Why get his hopes up? he thought. I mean … life was full of disappointments and missed opportunities and shitty circumstances. Hell, if they wanted to meet women, why didn’t they just join some church or become dog owners and go to the park every day. I mean, he’d once heard somewhere – talk radio? freakin’ Facebook? – that daily walks with a pooch was a sure-fire way to meet women. Next thing you knew, some great looking gal was petting your dog and you were in like Flynn. Ah … but that wasn’t him … or Moran, for God sakes. On the other hand, he wouldn’t put it past Moran to try it.

Ritter peered down the mountain from their campsite, but he could see no sign of any ladies. It was late afternoon and the cool autumn breeze chilling his face more than hinted of a chilly night – his favorite kind of fall evening. Sure, who needed women anyway? He’d stare into the flames of the campfire, groove on the wind snapping the bare branches of the trees, gaze upward into the stars and the mysteriousness of the Rocky Mountain night. And yet … and yet … he had this gnawing hope that these women would appear.

Moran brought the binoculars up to his eyes, training them on … what? The trail disappeared into pines and aspens. Good God, it was impossible to see anything.

“What in God’s name are you looking at?” Ritter asked.

Quite suddenly, a smile creased the old professor’s face. “Bing-GO,” Moran said.

“What?” Ritter nearly shouted.

“There they are … as gorgeous as co-eds traversing the lawn of Penn State’s Old Main on a sunny spring afternoon.”

“Wha-a-a-a …” Ritter sputtered. “Let me see those binoculars.”

“No need, my boy.”

Sure enough, Ritter saw for himself the two women, the pair of canines trailing them – a blonde and a brunette, just now emerging from the thick canopy of trees along the trail.

“Holy jumpin’ juju bees,” Ritter said. “I look like hell.” He scrambled to his feet and looked toward the tent. “What do we do?” He knew full well he probably didn’t smell too good. Three days of hiking without a bath didn’t exactly result in pleasant bodily odors.

Moran coolly lowered the binoculars and smiled at his longtime protégé. He slowly stood, pulling a beret from his pocket and placing it atop his head at a rakish angle. He looked toward the tent, and trotted off toward it, leaving Ritter next to the campfire.

“Where are you going,” Ritter whispered loudly. He stole a glance down the trail. The women were drawing closer.

“Getting into my old Army dress uniform,” Moran called back before disappearing into the tent.

“But you were never in the Army for God sakes,” Ritter said, gritting his teeth. Ritter stole another glance down the trail. Hell, they were perhaps just one hundred yards away. In a few minutes, they’d be here. What the hell was he supposed to change into? The damn filthy blue jeans and sweatshirt he’d worn yesterday?

“Remember the old Boy Scout motto Jon?” Moran called out from inside the tent. “Be prepared.”

“You were never a Boy Scout,” Ritter screamed.

Sex isn’t everything

31 Oct

Professor Fred Moran and Jon Ritter stared into the canyon rapids of the Roaring Fork. It was a fine October day in the Rockies, and Ritter, at least, was hell-bent on enjoying the final days of warm weather before the snows came.
“Thing is,” said Ritter, snapping a twig and tossing it onto the small stream-side fire, “I think a trip to Alaska next summer is on my itinerary.”
“Righto,” said Moran, stabbing at the flames with his cane, Misty Blue before pirouetting and making another stab at the flames. “I hear there’s a fine fencing club up in the Yukon.”
“Fencing?” Ritter shook his head at such an absurd notion. “You’re lucky if you find any such organizations up that way.”
“Doesn’t matter,” said Moran, stopping to peer into the fire. He smiled and emitted a deep breath. “I’ll find something to keep me busy up there. Life is good.”
Ritter stared at Moran. Lately, the old bird had been in fine fettle, and Ritter couldn’t quite figure out why.
“What is it with you lately?”
“I’m sorry,” said Moran, appearing obviously perplexed.
“I mean. Hell benders. You’ve been as happy as a dog with two peters of late.”
Moran grinned. “Well now. I wouldn’t put it quite that way.  But yes, I have been rather happy of late. Even jubilant, if I may say.”
“So what is it?”
“Ah … just a girl. And a fine girl at that.”
“Right. Some grad student you’ve lured into your orbit through bribery? What is it this time? The promise of an assistant ship to tide a young lass through the cruel winter months.” Ritter shook his head. “You know, you’re going to get in trouble with this nonsense one of these days,” he added, pointing a finger at Moran.
“Jon. Jon. Nothing of the sort. I dare say. I’ve met a fine woman. A mature woman, of fine breeding, intellect and may I say, an incredible sense of humor.”
“A smart woman with a sense of humor? Those have never been your prerequisites for sex. And maturity? Don’t make me gag.”
Just then, there was the sound of heavy hoofs thundering up the mountain.
“Sounds like a horse,” Ritter said.
“Indeed,” Moran said with a grin.
It was a horse, with a beautiful woman  astride the creature. She had long flowing blonde hair, piercing blue eyes and a smile that hinted of hidden desires.
“Marquette.” shrieked Moran.
“Marquette?” said Ritter, looking from the lovely gal to Moran and back at her.
“Come Fred,” she said, in a soft voice. “I’ve rented the room, and I have the
Without a word, Moran sprinted for the horse. With his hands planted firmly on the stallion’s back side, he vaulted himself upon it. Never before had Ritter seen such athleticism from his old mentor. The horse raised itself on its hind legs before taking off down the mountain.
“I’ve seen everything,” Ritter said.
“Talking to yourself again, I see.”
“Whaaa …”
There, on the other side of the fire, a cocksure grin creasing his face, was Reuther in a baseball uniform.
“Reuther. What … What in the name of God are you doing here?”
“Just got done playing a doubleheader down Durango way.” Reuther picked up a stick and poked at the flames. “What’s all the ruckus about? I thought I heard thundering hooves.”
“You did,” said Ritter, allowing himself to fall in a slump to the ground. Ritter stared at the flames.
“Why so glum old chum?”
“Freakin’ Moran. He just rode off on a freakin’ horse with the most dazzling woman I’ve ever seen.”
“I see,” Reuther said, spearing a hot dog with his stick and holding it over the flames. “And it’s killing you?”
“I’ll admit. It really is.”
“Take heart Sodbuster. So he gets a gorgeous woman.”
“But … but she was … incredible, voluptuous, dazzling …”
“Tut tut,” said Reuther. “Doesn’t matter.”
“But that should be me. I mean … I’m … better than him.”
“Oh for the love of Pete Jon. Look around you. Look out that way, at those mountain peaks. Just listen to the wind blowing through the pines. Take in the sounds of the Roaring Fork … and this great campsite and this fire.”
“Ah … yeah. Guess you’re right.”
Ritter stared at the dancing flames. Shit. Reuther was right.
“It’s the little things in life Jon. Remember that.”