I am fortunate that my father taught me to fly fish at a young age. You see, since his parents were farmers, he himself was a farmer for most of his life. But even while he was busy working on the farm he’d find the time to steal away to the local creek and fly fish. Well my father met my mom, the two of them worked hard, they had me and for a while it seemed that was how it would be: my dad working on the farm, and stealing away every now and then to fly fish.
But he got good. He got reall good. He got to the point where he could support himself from fly fishing by serving as a fly fishing guide. He soon left farm work to the past.
I am fortunate for a number of reasons, but reason in particular is that my father taught me how to fly fish. Since I started learning so young, in many ways, fly fishing is as natural as walking for me. Despite having many years of fly fishing under my belt, I always try to learn wherever I can.
There are a number of fly fishing books out there that can be great resources for picking up new fishing techniques and life wisdom in general. Below are several that I’d recommend.
All Fishermen Are Liars by John Gierach
Starting with an autobiographical introduction, John Gierach runs the gamut in covering all sorts of fly fishing topics from Japanese fly fishing techniques to diverse American ones. There are 22 essay between the front and back covers and they are chock full of humor and wisdom. All Fishermen Are Liars is particularly notable for it’s inclusion of Eastern insights like Zen.
The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing by Kirk Deeter and Charlie Meyers
This book is small, but filled to the brim with all sorts of expert advice. Kirk Deeter (of Field and Stream) and Charlie Meyers of the Denver Post share the lessons that they’ve learned through a lifetime of fly fishing. You get a lot of great personal anecdotes but also a hearty selection of stories from the mouths of guides across the world.
Every Day Was Special: A Fly Fisher’s Lifelong Passion by WIlliam G. Tapply
This collection of 30 fishing essays was finished by Tapply just before he died in 2009. Like some of the best books on fly fishing out there, it talks about the sport and the meditation of fly fishing while also incorporating autobiographical narrative.
Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die by Chris Santella
Every fly fisher needs a dream list. In this book, Chris Santella puts together a list of beautiful locations for you. We all know that half of the joy of fly fishing is being surrounded by beautiful sights. Santella pulls from interviews with fly fishing experts from across the world to provide great fishing stories. The book also includes travel-and-tackle info and gorgeous photos.
The L.L. Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing by Macauley Lord, Dick Talleur, and Dave Whitlock
If there’s one book for you to pick-up to improve your fly fishing game, this is the one. It’s features advice from a slew of experts and is neatly divided into four sections: General Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing for Bass, Fly Casting, and Fly Tying. The language is straightforward and the flow is real smooth. It contains info on types of flies, the top ten most popular and successful fly patterns, and more.