Can’t Go Fishing……Read some Fly Fishing Books !
Anyone who has enjoyed the pleasure of fly fishing and has a love for the written word will be glad that there is a vast world of fishing literature devoted to this great pastime. When the snow is falling and the streams are locked in ice, one cure for cabin fever is to put a log on the fire, prop your feet up and enjoy a good book. Here are just a few book suggestions.
John Gierach, the rocky mountain fly fishing guru, has blessed us with a great number of fishing stories and essays. Some of a his whimsical titles include Where Trout Are as Long as Your Leg, Another Lousy Day in Paradise, Standing in a River Waving a Stick, At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman and Sex, Death and Fly Fishing. A compilation of a few of his works is entitled Death, Taxes and Leaky Waders. Gierch’s down to earth, laid back stories of fishing his adopted state of Colorado as well as many other areas surely makes you want to pack your rod and head for the hills!
Robert Traver, the pen name for John D. Voelker, was the author of such fly fishing books as Trout Madness, Trout Magic and The Anatomy of a Fisherman. His short stories show his deep love for the sport of fly fishing. He was an attorney and judge as well as a writer. He spent most of his life in the upper peninsula of Michigan where his stories take place. Ironically he is best known for a non-fishing book. In 1958 he penned the novel The Anatomy of a Murder. This best seller, based on a true story, was later made into an award winning movie starring Jimmy Stewart.
One of the most famous fly fishing books is A River Runs Through It, written by by Norman MacLean in 1976. This semi-autobiographical story of young adulthood in western Montana was made into a movie starring Brad Pitt and directed by Robert Redford in 1992. This movie is credited with causing a mini boom in fly fishing. Some skeptics would say this movie was responsible for crowding the streams with a bunch of yuppie yahoos who could not cast, tie a knot or select a fly but could spend tons of money at Orvis for gear that they couldn’t use if their BMW depended on it! But it is an excellent book and movie.
A River Why is another one of the best fly fishing books that has been made into a movie. Produce in 2008, it has yet to be released. This movie is based on the novel written by David James Duncan in 1983.
John Prosek has written and illustrated a number of books. This Connecticut author, painter and fisherman has traveled the world and produce such fine works as The World of Trout, Early Love and Brook Trout and Fly-Fishing the 41st Parallel From Connecticut to Mongolia and Home Again: A Fisherman’s Odyssey. His art work is exquisite and his text a joy to read.
Nick Lyons is responsible for authoring, editing and publishing some fine fly fishing books such as The Gigantic Book of Fishing Stories, My Secret Fishing Life, Full Creel, Spring Creek and Hemingway On Fishing. Some of his works are out of print but most can still be found at Amazon.com.
M.R. Montgomery’s writing has been described as “clear and crisp as a mountain stream”. His best known fly fishing books are The Way of the Trout and Many Rivers to Cross:Of Good Running Water, Native Trout and the Remains of Wilderness.
For those of you who are fans of the great state of Maine there are some wonderful books to seek out. The best known book from the Great North Woods is We Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich. While not actually a fly fishing book it is very interesting to learn about the lifestyle of living deep in the wilderness on Maine’s Rapid River in the 1930s and 40s. Another historical book that directly relates to the fishing in northern Maine is Fly Rod Crosby: The Woman Who Marketed Maine by Julia Hunter and Earle Shettleworth. Additional fine contemporary reading about his region comes from Robert Romano ‘s books such as Shadows In the Stream and North of Easie.