Neil Armstrong

Adventures in the Plumage Trade

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century


Hutchinson 297pp £20 order from our bookshop

Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in New Mexico’s Red River fishing for trout when he first heard the bizarre story at the heart of this unusual and engrossing page-turner. He was using off-the-shelf flies: hooks wrapped in various materials to mimic the often-drab aquatic insects that trout feed on. His guide, Spencer Seim, showed him a home-made salmon fly, ‘one of the most strangely beautiful things I’d ever seen … It bore the feathers of a dozen different birds, flashing crimson and canary yellow, turquoise and setting-sun orange.’

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