Do you have an Amazon gift card burning a hole in your pocket?
You don’t need me telling you what to buy. But if you wanted a suggestion, I’d encourage you to pick up a fly fishing book.
If you can make a little bit of time, there is always time to read a good fly fishing book. By the fire in the winter. On the back porch in the summer. Riding the commuter rail, sitting in the waiting room, and on lunch break. Having a good book on hand can pass the time and prepare you for your next adventure.
As I’ve done for all of the entries in my “Fly Fishing Books” series, I’ve spread the selections over three rough categories:
- Guide (regional, site specific)
- Technical (methods, locations, fly tying)
- Literature (novels, biographies, history)
Check out one kind of each book, why I suggest it, and a bonus read below. And follow the links in the headings to get a copy for yourself!
Guide: Fly Fishing Virginia, by Beau Beasley
One of the first books I recommended on Casting Across was Beasley’s Fly Fishing the Mid-Atlantic. That is a great book, but I think I like his Virginia offering even more. Beasley is from the Old Dominion state and his familiarity comes through in this guide. Moreover, he writes with a warmness for his home water. The No Nonsense Guide series is great, too. It combines explanations with maps, resources, and seasonal information.
Technical: Strip-Set, by George Daniel
Daniel’s last publications have been hits in the fly fishing world for good reason. This is an unquestionably great book. Want specifics reasons why? 1) Lots of beautiful pictures of enormous trout. 2) Advanced streamer techniques. 3) Tying recipes and concepts for big flies. That third facet has been my biggest takeaway from Strip-Set. Tying a streamer is easy, but tying a good streamer means tapping into some expertise.
Literature: The Complete Angler, by James Prosek
I read Walton’s Compleat Angler early on in my fly fishing career. I don’t think I truly appreciated it until I read Prosek’s book a few years later. While not a formal companion piece, the late 20th century work illuminated the mid-17th century classic. Prosek’s prose is as colorful as his artwork. This book is also genre-spanning. If you like autobiography, history, or fly fishing, you’ll enjoy The Complete Angler.
Bonus: Rivers of Restoration, by John Ross
Although the 50th anniversary of Trout Unlimited was in 2008 this is still worth picking up. The history is important. The photography is stellar. Perhaps most valuable is the 20+ voices that comprise the narrative. The voices are from TU volunteers, but they are really the stories of local chapters and rivers. Like Trout Unlimited itself, Rivers of Restoration will benefit anglers and conservationists alike.
Want some more fly fishing books?
- Fly Fishing Books, I : Fly Fishing the Mid-Atlantic, Spring Creek Strategies, Joe and Me, Limestone Legends
- Fly Fishing Books, II : Fly-Fishing Guide to the Upper Delaware River, In the Ring of the Rise, Brook Trout, The Curtis Creek Manifesto
- Fly Fishing Books, III : Guide to Maryland Trout Fishing, Fly Fishing For Smallmouth Bass, Fishing a Highland Stream, About Trout
- Fly Fishing Books, IV : Flyfisher’s Guide to New England, The Fly Fisher’s Book of Lists, Spring Creek, & CVTU’s Favorite Flies
- Fly Fishing Books, V: Flyfisher’s Guide to the New England Coast, Fishing the Midge, The Wonderful World of Trout, River’s Edge