Casting into Mystery a Finalist in the 2020 INDIES Book of the Year Awards

Traverse City, MI, March 12, 2021Casting into Mystery, written by Robert Reid with engravings by Wesley W. Bates, is a finalist in the 2020 INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

Published by The Porcupine’s Quill, the literary fly angling memoir is one of seven finalists in the Nature category. Reviewers have praised the book in Canada, the U.S. and England.

As part of its mission to discover, review and share the best books from university and independent publishers, Foreword Reviews is announcing the finalists for the annual awards.

More than 2,000 entries ranging over 55 genres were submitted for consideration. The finalists were determined by Foreword’s editorial team. Winners are now being decided by teams of librarian and bookseller judges from across America.

The complete list of finalists can be found at:

‘The COVID-19 pandemic did not slow down the quality of great books coming from the independent publishing community in 2020. The finalist selection process was one of the hardest our team encountered due to the number of excellent submissions,’ said Victoria Sutherland, publisher.

‘In typical years, the judging process involves our team gathering and discussing books in real time,’ says managing editor, Michelle Anne Schingler. ‘This year we had to read separately, take notes and convene to discuss the entrants after we’d all taken a turn with them on our own.

‘While at first the change was nerve-wracking, we were delighted to discover that we we’re as much in agreement when the process takes place across miles and weeks as we are when we’re sitting face-to-face. We’re as confident as ever that the finalists reflect the best of the books we’ve had the privilege of reading and evaluating.’

Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice Prize winners and Foreword’s Independent Publisher of the Year—will be announced June 17, 2021.

Since 1998 Foreword Reviews has provided trade book reviews of the best titles from independent presses. The magazine is a favourite among librarians, booksellers and readers—an excellent resource when it comes to purchasing books.

2020 Finalist for Nature

Casting into Mystery
Robert Reid and Wesley W. Bates (illustrator)
The Porcupine’s Quill
Publication Date
Feb 18, 2020

A Haven in the Sun
B.C. Robison and Linda M. Feltner (illustrator)
Texas Tech University Press
Publication Date
Jun 15, 2020

The Hidden Life of Ice
The Experiment
Publication Date
Aug 18, 2020

Earth Aware
Publication Date
Jul 14, 2020

Wolf Island
L. David Mech and Greg Breining
University of Minnesota Press
Publication Date
Oct 13, 2020

Garden Design Master Class
Rizzoli New York
Publication Date
Apr 14, 2020

Walks of a Lifetime in America’s National Parks
Falcon Guides
Publication Date
Jul 30, 2020


Casting added to the bookcase

Casting into Mystery (signed by both author and engraver) is now available online through An Angler’s Bookcase, one of America’s premiere online angling booksellers.

Started in 2001 and operated by Craig and Catherine Douglass, the online angling bookseller’s inventory exceeds 3,100 titles, including signed first printings, rare limited editions and other collectible angling books–both new and used. Anglers seeking books that are not in stock are invited to fill out a search form and Craig or Catherine will prospect their off-line inventory, other bookstores and various book-search services.

Over the years Craig, an avid fly angler, graduated from an occasional reader, to an amateur collector, to trading with other collectors before going ‘national’ with An Angler’s Bookcase.

Catherine is newer to the sport of angling; however, her MA in literature combined with a voracious appetite for reading makes her the ideal ‘literary conscience’ to ensure that the books offered by An Angler’s Bookcase reflect a high quality of reading.

Recently relocated to Colorado from New Mexico, the objectives of An Angler’s Bookcase, will strike chords with literary anglers and armchair anglers alike:

The mission of An Anglers Bookcase is to provide quality, collectible literature to the fly fishing enthusiast, at prices that will continue to support an enthusiasm for our sport and its prose. In addition, we hope to provide an informative site for those who are either looking for a good book on the subject, or looking for added information about a particular book.

The bookseller attempts to get titles signed whenever possible. It does not routinely carry how-to/where-to guides books.

Check out the website at An Angler’s Bookcase.


Casting Lands Silver

Casting into Mystery has won a silver medal in 2020 eLit Awards, presented annually in recognition of digital publishing excellence.

The angling memoir, written by Robert Reid with engravings by Wesley W. Bates, was recognized in the Sports/Fitness/Recreation category. The ebook is available through The Porcupine’s Quill.

The eleventh annual eLit Awards is a global awards program committed to honouring the best in English language digital publishing.

The awards are an industry-wide, unaffiliated program open to all members of the electronic publishing industry. The Jenkins Group Inc., a Michigan-based book publishing and marketing company, has been presenting the Independent Publisher Book Awards contest since 1996.

Publishers and authors worldwide creating electronic books written in English for the global marketplace are eligible for entry.


Casting Book Launch

Hello Friends, anglers and non-anglers alike,

I sincerely hope this email finds you safe and well. Adapting the adage of ‘better late than never,’ Wesley Bates and I are hosting an official launch of our book, Casting into Mystery, at Themuseum, in downtown Kitchener, on Tuesday, September 15, from 7 to 9 pm.

Our book is a celebration of the meditative sport of fly fishing and of the camaraderie and quietude to be found not only in the gentle flow of river currents, but in the community and culture of anglers past and present. Wesley and I are both avid anglers. We put ink to paper in homage to the venerable sport. Through text and image, we recall with fondness the ‘company of rivers’ that provides a glimpse inside the sporting culture. Part memoir, part objet d’art and part field guide, we hope our book delights passionate fly fishers and armchair anglers alike.

Chad Wriglesworth, an English prof at St. Jerome’s University, describes our book as follows:

‘Robert Reid and Wesley W. Bates have given us a beautiful and refreshing gift, a book where word and image join to form a vibrant reality that is shot through with mystery and meaning. Reid’s personal stories, accounts of local history and curious dives into literature, music, visual art and film are illuminated by Bates’s intricate engravings, images that awaken realities both seen and unseen. This book taps into an ancient metaphysical current, a deep place, where lurking questions about the sacred, time and mortality surface and strike again as new.’  
In these unsettling times we realize a public event of any kind raises concerns. However, we are taking every step possible to ensure your safety by following COVID-19 guidelines including social distancing, mandatory face masks, use of hand sanitizer and contact tracing. The event is being held in the Atrium, Themuseum’s largest room, to ensure comfort.

To comply with COVID protocol we are asking people to register for a free ticket through Eventbrite. Registering allows Themuseum to compile contact tracing information includes three routine screening questions.

The free ticket to the launch includes admission to the timely exhibition Alarm: Responding to Our Climate Emergency.

As usual there is construction ongoing throughout downtown Kitchener. However, free parking (after 6 pm) is available in the public lot adjacent to Charles Street, behind the Walper Hotel.

Should anyone be unable to attend I would be happy to hand deliver a copy of our book. Contact me through email. Anyone with any questions can reach me at or by phone at 519-954-6309.

I know some of you have already purchased a book, for which Wesley and I are deeply grateful. We extend an extra thank you to those who have posted a comment on Amazon, Indigo/Chapter to Goodreads.

Please take care and stay healthy.


Rob and Wesley


Casting into Mystery Released

The Porcupine’s Quill
68 Main St., PO Box 160
Erin, Ontario N0B 1T0
Tel: (519) 833 9158
Fax: (519) 833 9845

PRESS RELEASE February 2020
Casting into Mystery
by Robert Reid with wood engravings by Wesley W. Bates
SPORTS / RECREATION • $26.95 • 978-0-88984-428-5 • 284 pp

About the Book:
Casting into Mystery is a celebration of the meditative sport of fly fishing and of the camaraderie and quietude to be found not only in the gentle flow of river currents, but also in the community and culture of anglers, past and present.

Writer Robert Reid and wood engraver Wesley W. Bates—avid anglers, both—put ink to paper in homage to the venerable sport of fly fishing. Through text and image, they recall with fondness the ‘company of rivers’ that provides a glimpse inside a sporting culture rife with literature, art and music. Part memoir, part objet d’art, part field guide and part cultural companion, Casting into Mystery will delight passionate fly fishing practitioners and armchair anglers alike.

About the Author:
Robert Reid is a writer, journalist and enthusiastic angler whose career in journalism spanned forty years. Reid got his start writing for newspapers in Strathroy, St. Thomas, Timmins and Simcoe before he landed a position covering arts at the Brantford Expositor, and later, the Waterloo Region Record. Since his retirement, Reid has continued to write about his passions—art and culture, malt whisky, dining and travel, and especially fly fishing—on his website at

About the Artist:
Wesley W. Bates was born in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. One of Canada’s best-known wood engravers, Bates has ventured into book illustration, film, commercial art, letterpress publishing and acoustic country—played, naturally, on a bouzouki. A retrospective of his engravings, In Black and White was published by Bird & Bull in 2005, with a revised edition published by Gaspereau Press in 2008. He maintains his studio, which is open to the public, in a nineteenth-century storefront gallery on the main street of Clifford, Ontario.