I'm generally a big fan of books as gifts. Especially good books.
My brother-in-law - a farmer by trade - has the knack of picking really good, deeply interesting books.
The gift he and my sister gave to me this year is typical of his ability to choose well. It is a book that honours a long history of deceit: The Fly-Fisher's Craft: the Art and History.
There is nothing simple about deceiving a trout with a fly. And yes, it is an art - I've tried my hand at it a few times, most memorably with my father on the Snake River in Idaho in 1985, and I can verify that whatever it was I did with the flyrod, it was not art.
Wetting a line is a bit of fun, but I have a heap of respect for those who've mastered the art of deceiving a trout; it was my uncle who first aroused my interest in the field, and he knows the art.
My respect for those old guys with straw hats, whippy rods and handmade floats who chase luderick is somewhere in the same league.
There is a long and honourable history attached to both - especially the pursuit of a trout with hand-tied flies - and this is a history that I am certain will fascinate me.
Here is a history of deception that rewards only the most attentive, the most observant, the most patient. It's a history worth honouring.