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Want to know what books are worth reading and collecting? This list of books has made multiple list of recommend reading. Some of them are just great to read and others are classics because of their break-through ideas. A link for each book and author is provided back to Amazon.com for your convenience.  Any purchases made via these links will generate a small fee for this web site. All proceeds with be use to improve and support the cost of this web site.

Joe Humphreys Trout Tactics  Joe Humphreys's Trout Tactics , by Joseph B. Humphreys,, 1981.  Humphreys' approach to trout fishing is an Eastern version of Charles Brooks' Western angling savvy. Humphreys will unlock for you, if you concentrate closely to what he is saying.  How to catch the bigger, warier trout in waters where you may be satisfying yourself with smaller fare. If size counts, Humphreys can help you release bigger fish.

Trout, by Ray Bergman  Trout  by Ray Bergman,   1938.  This is a classic work on trout fishing by the fishing editor of Outdoor Life. Trout is perhaps still the best American trout fishing book ever written. Without pretense or affectation, Bergman offeres permanently valuable advice on all aspects of trout fishing. The book is well-illustrated, by William Schaldach's his  color plates of flies and spinning lures, are some a forgotten part of trout fishing. Moreover, Bergman's love of trout fishing across America comes through in every chapter. His well drawn anecdotes of fishing a wilder, less spoiled country from Penobscot Lake to the Umpqua convey what has become a national love for trout.

What the Trout Said: About the Design of Trout Flies, and Other Mysteries, by Datzrs Proper  What the Trout Said: About the Design of Trout Flies, and Other Mysteries, by Datzrs Proper, 1982. A great problem solving book written by a thinking person and perhaps the best trout-fishing book published in the last 20 years. Proper understands that trout are in charge of trout fishing, and his pointed "conversations" with them are well worth overhearing

 

The Complete Angler, by Izaak Walton,The Complete Angler, by Izaak Walton, 1653. Often called the best fishing book ever written, The Complete Angler is both a manual on fishing for everything from chub to salmon and a book on the pleasures of a country life.
Read it here… http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~rbear/walton/

 

The Book of Fly Patterns, by Eric Leiser  The Book of Fly Patterns,  by Eric Leiser, 1987.  Leiser, a highly respected author and flytier, provides over 1000 patterns for the construction of artificial flies in this amply illustrated book, which will become the standard in the field. In addition to ingredients, Leiser provides frequent notes on alternate materials and techniques, and/or the history of the pattern.

The Origins of Angling,  by John Mcllonald, The Origins of Angling, by John Mcllonald, 1963. What is thought to be the first published essay on sport fishing, The Treatise of Fishing with an Angle, first printed in 1496, is also believed to have been written by a woman: Dame Juliana Berners, by legend a nun and a noblewoman. This significant book attempts to solve the mystery of the sporting nun and her pioneering work, and to bring the Treatise itself back for the modern reader in modern idiom. The book forms into two parts. First, modernized versions of the original manuscript, and second, facsimiles and transcripts of the Treatise; a description and history of the manuscript; and a comparison of manuscript and printed text. The Origins of Angling is an appreciation of the first known piece of writing in English on sport fishing, its history, and its effect on the sport as it is practiced today.

Nymph fishing for larger trout by Charles F. Brooks  Nymph Fishing for Larger Trout,  by Charles F. Brooks, 1976.  Since nymph comprise more than 90 percent of a trout's normal diet, nymph imitations are potentially the most effective flies for trout - particularly large fish that rarely feed on the surface. Yet nymph fishing remains one of the most difficult and demanding forms of fly-fishing, often shrouded in mystery or half knowledge. Nymph Fishing For Larger Trout will take its place as one of the few real contributions to this important phase of angling

 

Trout and the Stream by Charles F. Brooks  The Trout and the Stream,  by Charles F. Brooks, by Charles F. Brooks, (1974) After you've passed through your misty-eyed, romantic, a river-runs-through-it phase and are ready to get down to the nitty-gritty, reach for Charles Brooks' advice on how to hunt trout that will limber up the butt section of your fly rod. Brooks is a classic Western angler-persistent, restless, innovative-and a great tutor for Eastern fishermen to use when planning a trip out West to fish big water. These no-nonsense books-both issued by Nick Lyons Books/Winchester Press-will add to your repertoire. Brooks knows that the key to fishing deep, fast rivers is to get the right fly down to the big-dog trout-far, far easier said than done

Nymph fishing for chalk stream trout  by George Edward Mackenzie Skues Nymph fishing for chalk stream trout, by George Edward Mackenzie Skues 1939. Skues always thought Halford overstated his case and published several books advocating common souse and the use of both dry and wet dies. This is the counter argument to dry fly only.

Lore of Trout Fishing: A Special Collection of Lessons from the Pages of Fly Fisherman,  by Art Lee,  Lore of Trout Fishing: A Special Collection of Lessons from the Pages of Fly Fisherman,   by Art Lee, (1999).  Lore of Trout Fishing presents many of the finest writings by one of fly fishing’s most respected and recognized anglers—Art Lee. This collection of Lee’s work for Fly Fisherman features more than 30 years of classic essays on all aspects of fly fishing for trout, including some never-before-published material. Equal parts information and inspiration, this guide is filled with fishing lessons and captivating tales that will provide valuable insight and perspective into catching trout for many years to come

Fishing Dry Flies for Trout on Rivers and Streams, by Art Lee,  Fishing Dry Flies for Trout on Rivers and Streams,  by Art Lee, 1982. Whether you're new to fly fishing or you’re a veteran angler, Fishing Dry Flies for Trout on Rivers and Streams is a must-read. Art Lee, recognized as one of the best fly fishing writers in America, weaves top-notch instruction with insight and wisdom gleaned from a lifetime on the water. Lee's unique style will not only inform and entertain you--it will also improve the way you fish.

The Fishing In Print: A guided tour through five centuries of angling literature, by Arnold Gingrich  The Fishing In Print: A guided tour through five centuries of angling literature,  by Arnold Gingrich, 1974. A book about books that will guide you through the first 500 years of angling literature from the Dame to the modern day fishing writers.

 

Selective Trout: Revised and Expanded, by Doug Swisher and Carl Richards  Selective Trout: Revised and Expanded, by Doug Swisher and Carl Richards 2001. SELECTIVE TROUT has been hailed as the most revolutionary new approach to trout-fly imitation of the twentieth century. Fly Fisherman magazine called it “the most important book on fly fishing of this decade.” Writer and angling historian Paul Schullery said in American Fly Fishing that the book “outlined many of the most important mayfly hatches in the best-known trout-fishing regions, and from that solid entomological foundation it introduced a striking and still-provocative series of flies. . . .” In calculating the effect of its impact and practicality, Joe Brooks said that “both beginners and veterans benefit immeasurably.”

Fly Fishing Strategy  1975, Doug Swisher and Carl Richards    Fly Fishing Strategy 1975, Doug Swisher and Carl Richards , Illustrated by Dave Whitlock . A third of the book gives ample casting instruction. Excellent illustration and explanation of how to cast a fly; a few fly patterns, techniques for stream and lake fishing are included for good measure. It’s an overview of how to fish trout by renowned fishers who had the knack long before this book was written. Following the detail will get you fish.

 

In the Ring of the Rise, by Vincent C. Marinaro   In the Ring of the Rise,   by Vincent C. Marinaro 1976.  A thoughtful fisherman and a fine photographer, Marinaro sets out to debunk the mystery of the trout's environment and feeding behavior. "A trout lives in a secret world," he writes. "It is a small world in which many dramatic events are played out in watery obscurity, veiled from the keenest eyes. And even though he is stalked and pursued relentlessly by the most attentive land creature on earth, his life-style remains much of a mystery." Marinaro begins to reveal the mystery through the clarity of his own sharp vision and the technological wizardry of a high-speed camera--both of which are focused on the ring of the rise, or riseform, which is, in essence, the trout's dining room.

Modern Dry Fly Code, by Vince. Marinaro    Modern Dry Fly Code, by Vince. Marinaro, 1950.  An American classic for Matinaro's re-evaluation of terrestrial insects and new theories on dry fly design. A Modern Dry-Fly Code has been described as "the best angling work of the last half century" and "the first original American contribution to fly fishing." It is a towering classic - intense, knowledgeable, and written with exacting care.

The Fly-Fishers Entomology, by Alfred Ronalds  The Fly-Fishers Entomology, by Alfred Ronalds, 1836. Fed-up with the quality of black and white illustrations of insects for tying dies, Alfred Ronalds set the record straight with his own book in 1836. Based on long research and observation, he produced the sport's first collection of insects and their specific imitations of English waters in fall color.

Trout Bum, by John Gierach  Trout Bum,  by John Gierach,1986. Not so much a fishing book as a book about why we fish and how we look at our fishing. Not purely philosophical, adventurous, or instructional, the book combines elements of all three with a dash of wit to boot.  Fly fishing humor is rare and Gierach is simply the best.  This book will be an American classic.

Caddisflies,  by Gary LaFontaine,  Caddisflies,  by Gary LaFontaine,1981.  Hailed as a classic almost as soon as it came out in the early 1980s, this combination of entomology and fly-fishing instruction puts a small insect--the caddis fly--under the microscope to help anglers get big results on the water. Misunderstood for years, LaFontaine explains why caddis should be an important part of any fly-fisher's arsenal of flies, and his arguments are very persuasive. With in-depth and anecdote-punctuated discussions of the insect's biology and life cycle, tactics for deciding at what stage in the life cycle caddis are being fed upon (nymph, emerger, or dun), and various methods of presenting imitations, the author provides a thorough and scientific approach to catching fish. Caddisflies is analytical fly-fishing instruction at its best.

no_image  Flies;: Their origin, natural history, tying, hooks, patterns and selections of dry and wet flies, nymphs, streamers, salmon flies for fresh and salt water ... of 2200 patterns,   by J. Edson Leonard, 1950. Leonard's encyclopedia of flies captures the subject at mid-century, when wet flies, dry flies, and streamers were of equal importance to trout anglers. In the color plates and in the listing of 2,200 patterns, you will find some fascinating history and a few important gems. In trout fishing, those who forget the past are condemned, not to repeat it.

Dave Whitlocks Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods  Dave Whitlock's Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods   by Dave Whitlock, 1982.  Whitlock's guide is both clear and complete on aquatic insects and well-illustrated with his fine, detailed drawings of naturals and artificial.   An indispensable guide filled with practical observations on all of the major aquatic trout foods of importance to the fly fisherman

Floating Flies and How to Dress Them,   by Frederick Halford  Floating Flies and How to Dress Them,  by Frederick Halford, 1886. Halford started a movement to restrict all fly fishing for trout to upstream casting over rising fish with a cocked-wing dry fly. He set the rules and insisted that all other forms of fly fishing were incorrect.  The idea caught on and wet fly fishing was pushed into the background for many years.

The Practical Fly Fisherman,  by A. J. McClane,  The Practical Fly Fisherman,   by A. J. McClane, 1953.  As a writer, McClane is more cut-and-dried than Bergman, but except for Lee Wulff, who was his equal at mid-century as a fisherman's fisherman?  Like others on this list-Marinaro and Lee, for example-McClane hones his expertise down to its essence. The foreword said it best: "this book never uses its genial rhetoric to paper over any gaps in the fundamental fact-structure of angling technique." Some of the tackle talk is obsolete, but concise chapters on the nymph, the dry fly, and the wet fly, and the classic "How to Cast Beyond Sixty Feet" are worth their weight in gold.

A Book of Trout Flies,   by Preston Jennings  A Book of Trout Flies, by Preston Jennings, 1935. A classic as the first U.S. book to match major trout stream insects and their imitations side-by-side as Jennings had done for the Brits years earlier. 

no_image02  The Complete Fly Fisherman: The Notes and Letters of Theodore Gordon, by John McDonald, 1947.  Theodore Gordon lived and fished in the Catskills at the turn of the 20th century. He is considered one of the fathers of American fly fishing. His letters and notes to such as greats as Halford, Skues and other major players in English fishing reveal how he used English dies to develop patterns for the faster American streams.

 

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