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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My recent post about Steelhead Country by author Steve Raymond got me thinking about some other books I would like to read/add to my growing collection. The members who posted(thanks to everyone)touched on some other books that I have been wanting to get my hands on. On the top of this list, is the legendary Roderick Haig Brown. I have somehow neglected his works, a problem that I will soon correct. I have enjoyed some of the more recent authors such as John Shewey and Dave Hughes. Which leaves the question I would like to ask the masses and the masters of our beloved sport. What are your favorite books? A great sub topic on this would be books about stewardship, resource preservation, and ethics. Maybe throw in a favorite book about tying flies as well. All input would greatly be appreciated. thanks, YT :BIGSMILE
 

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My two favorite fishing books are "An Outside Chance" by Thom McGuane, and "The Anglers Coast" by Russ Chatham.

McGuane is a contemporary novelist, who happens to fish and write about it. "An Outside Chance" is a collection of essays and magazine pieces about flyfishing, hunting, horseback riding, and motorcycling. The bulk of the pieces are about flyfishing in Montana and Florida, with a couple NW pieces. It is quite simply some of the best writing about fishing (or anything else) I have ever read. I do not hunt or ride horses, and yet I continue to come back even to those essays over and over. My paperback copy is falling apart. (A newer collection called "The Longest Silence" contains most of the fishing essays in "An Outside Chance" [though a couple seem to be slightly different drafts], plus some presumably newer fishing pieces, including a few more set in the NW.)

"The Anglers Coast" is a collection of esays mostly about flyfishing for salmon and steelhead and striped bass in Northern California in the 60s and 70s, including accounts of the legendary Bill Schaadt, one of the most important, if under-celebrated, flyfishers the West Coast has ever produced. Chatham is a bit of a crank, but he writes compelling, muscular prose, describing vividly a great place at a great time. Given what's come since, "An Anglers Coast" in some respects also serves as a moving and important elegy to how much we've lost so quickly. It will also really pump you up to go fishing.
 

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The new Robert Benhke/Joseph Tomerelli "Trout and Salmon of North America" is very good and makes an excellent addition to anyone's angling literature collection (unless you're a fish biologist and don't need it).

This is kind of a hackneyed choice, but I love "The River Why" by David James Duncan (might have muffed the first name).

"On the Spine of Time" is a good read. Harry Middleton's prose can be a bit over the top at times. Still, reading the memoirs of a guy who hung out for months on end in the Smoky Mountains fishing and cavorting with hillbillies and other interesting characters is entertaining.

I have a collection of articles written by Bill McMillan in the 70s and 80s (think its called something like Dryline Flyfishing for Steelhead) which is pretty interesting, but I think it's out of print.

Presume your familiar with Steve Raymond's other books.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I just ordered from Amazon another of Steve Raymond's books titled "Kamloops: an anglers study of the Kamloops trout". And another book called "Steelhead Water" by Bob Arnold. Thanks to Sinktip for recommending it. On a another note, I was recently chatting with Sparse Grey Hackle about Roderick Haig Brown. He suggested a book of essays put together from his Daughter, Valerie Haig Brown. The book in question is titled "To know a river: A Haig Brown Reader". Any comments on this book as well? Thanks everyone! YT
 

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"The Habit of Rivers" by Ted Leeson is my most dog-eared, underlined, highlighted, and re-read book. In twelve essays, Ted Leeson expresses a fishing philosophy very close to my own. He introduces the essays with a series of questions.

"......What is the strange gravity of a trout stream? Why do we slow our cars and crane our necks at every bridge? What, exactly, are we looking for? What is it about rivers that draws us so irresistibly, and why does fly fishing seem to us such an aptly suited response? To fish the artificial fly is to make a deliberate decision about an approach and method; what does the choice signify? What urge propels it and what meanings are implied? There is always more to fishing than meets the eye, and often enough the invisible parts are the most compelling."
 

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Great topic! While I won't talk about specific books I will say that there are only 2 (maybe 2 1/2(golf)) sports that produce a library in their wake; Flyfishing, Baseball, and the afore mentioned Links sport. Why is this? Answer to a high calling? Go to the library and ask Ms Brookfield where the NASCAR section is. Empty! Spiritualism? "Ah, Ms. Brookfield, anything about the zen of the 7-10 split?" Nada. Great books about basketball? Only one... by Phil Jackson, "Sacred Hoops".

When you stand in that stream and repetively cast, back and forth, you become the same as the fish, answering to the ancient ingrained messages in your DNA. You answer to the same calls as the fish; the light, the wind, heat from the sun, you are on the lookout for danger, you sense the responsibilty to care for you prodginy, you and the fish are on equal footing (okay he is at a disadvantage without IM13 graphite and a 20090 Suburban). You are...a zen master, or an idiot , or a regular guy just trying to get a few hours a week that make sense, on a level you can't verbalize. So you go to the bookstore and search for a book that does, and there are so many (cool!), and they let you know that you are are understood, and you are part of a passionate community that believes/knows that you, your survival and/or your extinction, is linked, somehow, to Mr Trout. You belong and without you we are weaker as a whole.

Groucho said (and I paraphrase)"I don't want to join any club that would have me as a member." Unless of course, they have moldy pheasant tails in their closet!

Free times and wet lines!
:BIGSMILE
 

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Haig-Brown, Haig-Brown, Haig-Brown. He's the best, and I'm not done with all his books.

Then, I should say:
The Estuary Flyfisher by Steve Raymond
Steelhead Fly Fishing by Trey Combs
Fly Fishing the Pacific Inshore by Ken Hanley
Fly Patterns for Stillwaters by Phil Rowley
Flies of the Northwest, by the Inland Empire FF Club
Saltwater Fly Patterns (Revised and Augmented) by Lefty Kreh
Baja On The Fly by Nick Curcione


Steelhead fly Fishing is a tremendous book, full of stories, tactics and fly patterns. Fly Fishing the Pacific Inshore is another great book on fishing for almost every game fish of the coast.

Rob
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Genetic pollution damages wild
stocks, bonk those Hatchery Zombies!
 

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There is a amazing book if it's still in print called "One man's Steelhead Shangrila" by Ralph Wahl. Its about an amazing steelhead secret place that was once on the Skagit River. With Raymond and Haig-Brown you can't go wrong. The McMillian book is called "Floating line for Steelhead:A meditation" Try bookfinder.com for titles of hard to find stuff. It'll hook you up with dealers for used books. I have a entire bookcase of flyfishing stuff, mostly trout. The thing is that I read about it more than I actually fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice list Tight Loops! Combs, Raymond, Rowley. Fly Patterns for Stillwaters is a great book. I would add my most recent purchase that I'm currently diggin on: Essential Trout Flies by Dave Hughes. Great book for 20 bucks! a couple of you mentioned Bill McMillan, Funny thing, I just spent two hours listening to him give a lecture for WSC. It was very informative. :pROFESSOR YT
 

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www.abebooks.com is another great resource for finding great rare or hard to find, or for that matter, recent books from indepedant booksellers.

But one of the great secrets of Seattle is David Ishii, Bookseller, in Pioneer Square. He has a selection of many of the best of the fishing books of the northwest. All you have to do is ask where they are, or go there by yourself, if you can find them.

I was just in there on Monday, and got a copy of Roy Patrick's Northwest Fly Patterns, which is the book I learned to tie out of. He talked my ear off about Roy, and Roy's wife. And then we talked about the good old days of fly fishing and fly tying.

Rob
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Genetic pollution damages wild
stocks, bonk those Hatchery Zombies!
 

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What do I know---I'm just an old man

Here's one other that you should add to your colection.It is about flyfishing the OP. It's called "Fly Fishing the Olympic Peninsula" by Doug Rose.

Jim :BIGSMILE
 

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Being from the southwest, I tend to stick with John Geirach, a well known Colorado author. His books reflect the humor and joy of the flyfisherman. If you haven't read any of his books i would highly recommend them. I have read every single one. Sex, Death, and Flyfishing was perhaps the best. I also like Nick Lyons.
Any book on fishing is fine by me! :LOVEIT


A Good Day Fishing is Better Than A Bad Day Golfing(Or Vice Versa)
 

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I'd add as must haves:

"Pop Fleyes" by Bob Popovics and Ed Jaworowski
"Innovative Saltwater Flies" by Bob Verveka
"Saltwater Flyfishing" by Lefty Kreh
"Steelhead Flyfishing" by Trey Combs

For bedtime or bathroom - Any book by John Gierach

jim W
 

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I'll add a second to some of those suggestions.

"Steelhead Shangri La" is a fine piece of work. I don't believe Wahl was a professional writer (I think this was his only book), and it shows sometimes in the prose, which can get a little clunky. But it is a deeply felt piece of work, with a great deal of dignity that comes from its underlying honesty, and Wahl's deep love of the places, people, and fish he writes about comes through on every page. It is another book, however, that for contemporary readers will come across as something of an elegy to a lost world.

Doug Rose is a pal of mine, so I shouldn't pass up the opportunity to give a Hear-Hear to Old Man's suggestion. Doug is a great angler and fine writer who knows the OP intimately, well beyond the beatan trail and the obvious choices.

And Geirach deserves his props. He probably did as much or more than anyone to shake up and revive flyfishing writing, which had gotten pretty moribund by the time he came along. He presented a fresh, hip voice and an attention to the craft of writing into a genre that had come to be dominated by mawkish sentimentality, self-aggrandizement, and simply poor writing. Some excellent writers that have come since, and obviosly been influenced by him, have really improved our literature. Geirach's "Trout Bum" and particularly "The View From Rat Lake" offer something very rare, excellent essays that will help you catch fish while still entertaining and enlightening anglers and non-anglers alike. (I will say that I think his more recent work has gotten a little mannered, but hey, most people don't even have one book in them.)

Ther's a lot of bad flyfishing writing out there, including a lot of old favorites. Charlie Waterman, who writes some of the best (though I don't know any of his books, just pieces I've read in magazines and anthologies), said that much of what passes for "classic" in flyfishing literature would be essentially unpublishable in any other genre. It's engouraging to see how good this group seems to be at seperating the wheat from the chaffe.
 

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A book that is a good read by a good author is Tales of Freshwater Fishing by Zane Grey.

The book was written many years ago so will have a bit of catch and kill and some tactics some might find questionable today but still an excellent book. Many stories about our western rivers including one about Deer Creek.
 

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Bright Rivers
, by Nick Lyons
From the Introduction, written by Ted Leeson: "By some happy accident, the very first fly fishing book I read was Bright Rivers. It was an instant and astonishing revelation that demolished my preconceptions about fly fishing literature and permanently changed my conception of a sport that I thought I knew well. During the ensuing years, I read scores of angling books only to find that that first serendipitous selection remains the very best."


Trout Madness -- Being A Dissertation on the Symtoms and Pathology of This Incurable Disease by One of Its Victims
, by John Voelker
From the Preface: "In this book I will lie a little, but not much, and I would prefer to hide my lapses under the euphemism "literary licence," my excuse being that I find it difficult to inject drama into a series of fishing stories unless somebody occasionally gets on to a good fish."


Fishless Days, Angling Nights
, by Sparse Grey Hackle.
From the Introduction: "Like Mark Twain, another pseudonymous writer with whom he's been compared, Sparse . . . has the knack of singling out what is enduringly funny in human affairs, particularly those that pertain to fishing."

And finally, as an honorable mention (only because I just finished reading it and learned a good deal): No Hatch to Match: Agressive Strategies for Fly-Fishing Between Hatches, by Rich Osthoff.

db

"If I don't catch them today, I'll catch them another day." Art Flick
 

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"The Major, The Poacher and the Wonderful One Trout River"

First and best book I ever read on flyfishing.

"Northwest Angling" by Enos Bradner

Sweet section on steelheading. Great general info on Angling in Washington. Written in the 50's.

I love all of John Gierach's books. I own and have read them all.

George Kelson's "The Salmonfly" Best book on tying traditional atlantic salmon flies.

"Curtis Creek Manefesto" Best how to beginners book. Funny as hell!

Ray Bergman's "Trout" and "Just Fishing"

Earnest Schweibert's "Trout"

"Steelhead" by Trey Combs. Has some friends who in their day were the pioneers of Steelhead flyfishing. I also love John Shewey's Steelheading books.


These are a few of my favorites. Some are hard or impossible to find.
 

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When I first started tying, I found Kaufmann's "Tying Dry Flies" and "Tying Nymphs" to very helpful. His Bonefish book is a awesome piece of work.

Lefty Kreh's book on Knots is a great little book.

Popovics "Pop Fleyes" is on my Christmas List. His "Jiggy" pattern worked well on my trip to Baja last month.

Various books showing different fly patterns, such as the 1,000 Best Flies. A good resource to view the fly and look up the required materials.

Brian
 
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