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Fly Fishing Books, part 3

On the subject of reading, someone once penned the words, “I can go anywhere /  Friends to know / And ways to grow.”

For the fly fisher,  that is most certainly the case. Whether it be a destination guidebook, an intimate novel, or a technical treatise, books can unlock all sorts of opportunities. Indeed, those lyrics from the theme to “Reading Rainbow” hold a lot of truth for angling.

This is the third installation of my Fly Fishing Books series. I continue to share books that I have found to be valuable, as I believe that educating angler does a lot more than just lead to more fish in the net. A well crafted book, of any genre, will engage the reader on a number of levels. Personal introspection, appreciation of the resource, and an awareness of the community of fly fishing  can all come from sitting down with a good book.

As I’ve outlined in my previous two entries (the first being here, and the second here), I’m attempting to offer up a book from three stylistic categories:

  • Guide (regional, site specific)
  • Technical (methods, locations, fly tying)
  • Literature (novels, biographies, history)

So whatever it is in fly fishing that you are interested in, go ahead and take a look. It is, after all, in a book.


Guide Guide To Maryland Trout Fishing: The Catch-and-Release Streams
Maryland is a fascinating state for fishing. The urban east is absolutely nothing like the rugged west. But if you live on the east coast and have never taken the opportunity to fish rivers like the Savage or the North Branch of the Potomac, you are missing out on something truly special. This book, by Charlie Gelso and Larry Coburn, is now in its third edition. Along with giving anglers a little bit of a directional heading, they do a great job in focusing in on the culture and conservation of the waters that they discuss. I can almost guarantee that anglers within a half-day’s drive of Maryland will put a trip together once this book is read.

Technical Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass

Harry Murray is one of the more underrated fly fishing names out there. That is, unless you are from or fish in Virginia. Then you know about his shop’s and his personal contributions to the sport. This book is simple, strightforward “do this, don’t do that” advice. And don’t let the name fool you: so much of what is presented in this book is applicable for other warm water species as well as big-river trout. That being said, the smallmouth expertise contained within these pages is second to none. Years of experience and relationships with other stellar bass fishermen have gone into this great little book.

Literature Fishing a Highland Stream

I purchased this small hardback from a used bookstore in downtown Boston as I was on my way to get on a flight. After a few chapters, I was disappointed that the plane wasn’t headed towards the United Kingdom.  Detailing his love affair with the River Truim in the Scottish highlands, John Inglis Hall presents a delightful account of a very normal fly fishing experience. Trust me, this book does an incredible job of expressing those thoughts and feelings that we all know from being on small waters that we love. It is a short read, but worthwhile. And it sure makes fly fishing, cozy inns, and pubs in Scotland sound fantastic.

Bonus About Trout: The Best of Robert Behnke from Trout Magazine

Doctor Robert J. Behnke  was a man who, hands down, knew more about trout than anyone I’ve ever met. Furthermore, he loved to share his knowledge and passion for these incredible fish. This book is not his seminal work, but it is a great compilation of some of his popular work. Collecting articles he wrote for Trout Magazine, the short pieces cover everything from conservation to  taxonomy to stuff you never knew about rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Things he wrote over thirty years ago are still interesting and relevant.

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