I need some book recommendations please... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: I need some book recommendations please...

yukon delta
01-30-2004, 11:17 PM
This is my first post in many moons. I'm looking for fishing books that highlight destinations rather than technique. I'm interested in reading about all the different locations you hear about...Russia, New Zealand, Patagonia, etc.

I recently received Bonefishing by Kaufmann and I am enjoying reading about the various locations. Of course, the technique is also top notch. I also have all of E. Donnall Thomas' books and they are good too. He's a great travel writer.

I will probably get R. Valentine Atkinson's "Greatest fly fishing around the world". Do you have any other recommendations for some good arm chair reading? Again, I'm more interested in locations than techniques. Thanks.

01-31-2004, 08:26 AM
Can't tell you which books but try Amazon.com

What might be cool is if everyone chimed in their destinations to Yukon in this thread, kind of our own armchair reader.

Anyone have a destination they could offer that might take some of the winter chill out of this January Day?

01-31-2004, 09:57 AM
Here are three suggestions, though the first two are perhaps a bit off-beam.

1. 'Somewhere Down the Crazy River' by Paul Boote and Jeremy Wade. Some here will recognise Paul's name fron a UK board, where he's a regular and provocative contributor. He effectively rediscovered fishing for mahseer in India, a highly prized quarry in the days of the English Raj. The first part of the book describes his and Wade's adventures with these fantastic fish. The second part describes two journeys they made together in pursuit of the Goliath Tiger Fish in Africa's Congo. This book isn't strictly about fly fishing, but as a piece of fishing travel writing I would recommend it highly.

2. 'Running with Reindeer' by Roger Took. Again not particularly about fishing, but a good book about Russia's Kola Peninsula. Some pretty depressing stuff about the state of the place, but anyone considering a visit should read it. In particular, read about some of the power games that went on in the parcelling-up of its rivers, and ask yourself whether you want to give your money to some of the operators there!

3. On a lighter note, and very much about fly fishing, 'A Flyfisher's Life' by Charles Ritz. Some of it concerns technique, but there are sections about fishing in many and varied places, including Austria, France, Sweden and Norway. A quirky, opinionated and very personal book by someone who fished everywhere and with everyone from Al McClane to the Duke of Roxburghe, to Ernest Hemingway.

yukon delta
01-31-2004, 01:03 PM
Thanks for the recommendations. They sound interesting. That's Charles Ritz of Ritz Hotels right? I read 'Reeling in Russia' recently and it sounded like sporting adventures in Russia are more adventure than sporting. :rolleyes:

I also like Juro's idea. It's -47 at my house today and fishing seems like a dream. I did purchase some equipment though this week to take the chill off. I have a Pate Bonefish reel, Redington Nti 8 wt rod, Orvis Vortex 13/14 reel and Orvis TLS 14 wt rod coming my way. I will use the 8 wt gear often in Alaska but the 14 wt is for a trip I would like to take in a couple of years for a 10th wedding anniversary. I would like to do some bluewater fishing. My anniversary is Dec. 30th and that sounds like a good time to go somewhere warm!

01-31-2004, 01:18 PM
I have more obsessions than any man deserves to but lately my main obsession is roosterfish on a fly, particularly from the beach on the two-hander.

I see something magical in that fish - the way it looks, it's persnickety nature, it's habitat, everything about it gets me scheming. Pacific Mexico is calling, and your wife will enjoy the resort atmosphere as well I would guess.

Another dream of mine is to go to the Bahamas with my wife and have a fair allocation of activities that we both partake in. Stalking the flats together, and shopping without complaints :rolleyes:. hey wait a minute I already do that but the mrs. doesn't fish with me! :p

yukon delta
02-02-2004, 12:01 PM
I always think roosterfish look like street toughs looking for a fight. My understanding is that I'm not far off the mark. That sounds like a lot of fun.

Other dream fish include giant trevally and horse eye jacks, 20 lb silver salmon, 40 lb king salmon (my best is 33 so far), 5 lb brookies, 100 lb tarpon, sailfish and halibut on the fly. There are places in SE Alaska where halibut spawn in 30-40 ft of water. I am told they will jump in shallow water. That must be a sight.

Any other books to recommend?

02-02-2004, 12:47 PM
Greetings Delta,
I've actually seen a halibut up on the surface, but they weren't attached to anyone's line but rather were chasing bait... pretty amazing sight.

As far as some good winter-time reading, I've always enjoyed Russel Chatham. He has a few books and collections of his stories published. I recommend An Angler's Coast and Dark Waters.

Not really destination writings and certainly not "how-to" pieces, but writings with real literary value. One of my favorite stories of Chatham's was about California steelheader Bill Schaadt and his reaction to being corked in a favorite run by a cheechako.

Hang in there brother -breakup's coming!

02-02-2004, 12:52 PM
Can't tell you which books but try Amazon.com


Whatever happened to promoting the sponsors of this forum? OutdoorGiftShop.com a sponsor of this site has over 500 fly fishing destination books that you might try looking into.

Dble Haul
02-02-2004, 01:19 PM
Will, as a sponsor you have every right to promote yourself and your services to the Forum. I hardly think that Juro would deliberately omit a reference to you.

Consider it an honest oversight, and feel free to continue plugging your products.


02-02-2004, 01:34 PM
Gierach's books are really entertaining. Currently reading the new complilation "sex death and flyfishing" or maybe it's "death, taxes and leaky waders."

Either way - his books set you in a time and place and read more like a novel than a guidebook. Weather you do freshwater, saltwater, etc, his stories contain characters and moments that all flyfishermen can relate to: anticipation, dissapoitment, the importance of the fisherman's vehicle, camping, guides, etc.

He also has a few stories about the Yukon, although he centers on western trout fishing.

Check it out if you're looking for a sometimes laugh-out-loud, entertaining read.

yukon delta
02-02-2004, 01:57 PM
I should have mentioned that I have all of Gierach's books except his newest one. I will check out the sponsor as mentioned also. Thanks and keep them coming please.

Flyfishing Finn
02-03-2004, 02:49 PM
I have plenty of destination books, and most of them are useful for planning a trip. Some are also entertaining, nice to look at or just amazingly well done.

In the latter category, I would include "Woolly Worms & Wombats" by Chris Dawson. It's about trout fishing in Australia and New Zealand. The writer took a year off his job to fish these places, and the result is informative and entertaining, but dates from 1994, so some of the info may be outdated.

Moving to Patagonia, I can still recommend "Argentina Trout Fishing" by William Leitch, although it's from 1992. Very thorough and gives info on fishing, the country and its culture. Beautiful pictures too, but unfortunately small format (which allows you to take the book with you on a trip).

Rounding out the southern side of the globe, "Fly-Fishing in Southern Africa" by Robert Brandon-Kirby is a big and beautiful (and expensive) coffee table book with lots of gorgeous pictures. I found the text less interesting, as there is more history than current info but it gives you an idea of the trout fishing and even a taste of saltwater fishing in S. Africa.

I also enjoyed "Angling Baja" by Scott Sadil for his common sense approach. The latest addition to my library is "Flyfishing the Texas Coast" by Phil Shook.

I just wish I could fish all those places, but on the other hand, sometimes a good book is better than actually going on a trip.:)

yukon delta
02-03-2004, 10:35 PM
FF, I know what you mean about books. It's similar to the way a book can far outshine the movie. I think our imagination is so vivid that when combined with the talent of a good writer it just outstrips (so to speak) reality. However, I would sure like to be fishing instead of reading right now!

I love those coffee table books but who can afford them? I paid $90 to get the Bonefishing book to my door. That's insane but I really wanted it and they cost $70 used so there was no way around it. Besides, Randall signed it to me.

paul locke
02-04-2004, 02:01 PM
hi delta, i'm away from home at moment so i'm working from memory! there are not many good modern books of this type but the most recent and best is ' fishing in iceland ' by mike savage. it was published in 2003 by 'old bakehouse publications' wales uk. e mail oldbakehouseprint@btopenworld.com fax 01495216222 mike struggled to finish the book before he died of cancer and he donated all proceeds to NORTH ATLANTIC SALMON FUND. the isbn number is 1 874538 89 1. this will be the definitive book on iceland for the forseeable future. i hope this helps. paul

02-04-2004, 02:30 PM
Two books I would highly reccommend if you are looking to be entertained are "Shadows on the Flats" by Chet Renison and "Sea Level" by Jeffrey Cardenas. Excellent reads that have regional flares but that are all about the less tangible aspects of fishing.


yukon delta
02-04-2004, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the info Sean. I like Cardenas but didn't know he had a book out.

Thanks Paul for that info also. I would say you did pretty good from memory...ISBN and all! Iceland sounds like an interesting place.

paul locke
02-05-2004, 05:14 AM
hi delta, sorry for way it reads, i'm not trying to impress my feats of memory, that is the book i'm reading on holiday and it covers all iceland. no, my memory is trying to recall other great destination books! a friend is getting me a book on norway where i fish a lot but i havent got it yet, i'll post it when i have. valentine atkinson books are great, fantastic photos but a little concise on destination details.will let you know if i think of any others. paul

yukon delta
02-05-2004, 11:52 PM
Paul, if you think of any other books I would love to hear about them. I understand what you're saying about travel books being short on details sometimes but that doesn't bother me too much. If they inspire me to want go there someday then they have served their purpose to me.

02-06-2004, 11:50 PM
Here's some you might want to try:

Fishing Passion by Jim Chapelas (2002) -- mostly about Jim's experiences setting up an international travel service;

Batfishing in the rainforest: strange tales of travel and fishing by Randy Wayne White (1991) -- not all fishing but great read;

Flyfishing the 41st: around the world on the 41st parallel by James Prosek (2003);

I Know a Good Place by Clive Gammon (1989) -- excellent book by a largely unknown author about his world-wide fishing adventures;

and of course, Fisherman's winter by Haig-Brown (1954).

I note that you're already living in one of the planet's great adventure fishing locations, as I discovered for myself when I spent a few weeks in the Yukon this past August/September.


yukon delta
02-07-2004, 01:44 AM
Poul, some questions...where did you go in Alaska and what did you do? Also, what can you tell me about the 41st parallel book? I can get it on loan from a library. Lastly, what travel service did Chapela set up? Thanks.

Willie Gunn
02-07-2004, 10:54 AM
Sorry to come in so late but have you tried
In Search of Silver
The greatest writing on Atlantic Salmon Fishing

Edited by Charles Gaines and Monte Burke published in association with the Atlantic Frderation.

Lots of fishing stories from round the world

02-07-2004, 11:44 AM
I believe Chapalis' outfit was called "PanAngling".

Prosek is a fine young american artist/writer who fished his way around the 41st parallel, mostly for trout. Some interesting stuff on fishing in Asia. It's a pretty good book.

When we were in the Yukon, we spent most of our time in the Kluane park region.


yukon delta
02-07-2004, 01:15 PM
Willie Gun, I haven't read that one (or most of the others mentioned) so this topic has been very helpful to me.

Poul, I live on the Yukon River but on the Alaska side. Many people think I live in Canada but my "handle" is something only an Alaskan would probably know. Kluane Lake is very beautiful though.

02-07-2004, 04:03 PM
The Longest Silence - Thomas MCGuane

Collection of his lifes fly fishing in short story format salt and fresh all over the world.

Great prose and fly fishing stories.

yukon delta
02-07-2004, 04:31 PM
I like McGuane and I have that book. In fact, that's the only McGuane book I have at this time. I can recommend it also. My favorite stories are the ones of him fishing from his own flats boat. I also like the one titled "World record dinner". He actually ate his world fly record mutton snapper...15 lbs or so. He's really an accomplished angler and good writer. Have you seen a photo of his 22+ lb sea run brown trout in Tierra Del Fuego? I think it was in one of E. Donnall Thomas's articles. That fish is amazing.

yukon delta
02-07-2004, 04:38 PM
I should list more of my favorite books. Nick Lyons 'A flyfisher's world' is good. I wish I had more of his books.

E. Donnall Thomas is a favorite writer. His books 'Dream fish and road trips', 'Whitefish can't jump' and especially 'Fly fishing best destinations worldwide" are very good. The latter is the best book on fly fishing destinations I have ever read. Destinations covered include Kiribati, Montana, Los Roques, Tierra Del Fuego, Belize, Chile, Alaska, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Andros, Yucatan, Russia, Florida, Canada, Texas and Midway Atoll. That's quite a variety. His appendices on health & safety, tackle & flies and booking agencies is first rate. The chapter on health & safety is top notch as Thomas is a medical doctor. His father won the Nobel prize for medicine.

yukon delta
02-12-2004, 05:58 PM
I have ordered several books and thought I would post here to say thanks for the advice.

Saltwater Fly Fishing by Jack Samson

I Know a Good Place by Clive Gammon

Trout and Salmon: The Greatest Fly Fishing for Trout and Salmon Worldwide by R. Valentine Atkinson

Lake Fishing With a Fly by Ron Cordes and Kaufmann

Distant Waters : The Greatest Fly-fishing Worldwide by Lyons