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Must have Fly Fishing Books!

Education is at the forefront of everything we do. We are constantly learning from others and teaching as many as we can. Someday we hope to have a book to share with you, but it is always important to learn from those who came first. Our very own Pete Rosenau doesn’t have tv, barely has internet, but has read every fly fishing book out there. Because of this he is one of the most knowledgeable fly fishers out there. I once witnessed him buy nearly every fly fishing book Powell’s Books Store (one of worlds largest books stores) had, over 30 books. For the next 11 days we will be highlighting Pete’s 11 Must Read Books that we have stocked our website. Whether you get these books from us, your local bookstore, fly shop or garage sale be sure you checkout the authors we highlight! All of them are amazing writers and fly fisherman that deserve our support! 

With schools out and more people home during the virus, now is a great time to either catch up on your reading or to start a new, healthy hobby. I’d like to offer a few suggestions which cover everything from “How To’s” to fiction. These are simply some of my personal favorites. There are so many great authors and books, but for now I hope one or two of these titles pique your interest.
Author: John Gierach
When I hear “Fishing Trip”, two things automatically become part of the equation; greasy gas station burritos and a John Gierach book. Trout Bum, like any of Gierach’s amazing works, grippingly transports you to a time and place where you can hear the water and smell the camp coffee. Unpretentious with more than a hint of cynicism, John’s writing is easy to read and full of witty quips to make you chuckle out loud. Short stories on a plethora of subjects makes this a great airport/ airplane read as well.
Auth: Roderick L. Haig Brown
Follow the journey of a salmon from fresh water to the ocean and home again in this fictional masterpiece. Haig Brown had such a unique writing style that seems to captivate and mesmerize. This story will sweep you into an underwater world full of both triumph and defeat. Anything written by Haig Brown is something to be cherished and shared. You will hold your breath more than once in this life calming novel.
Auth: Robert Traver
John D. Voelker, who wrote as Robert Traver, was in my opinion not only a fantastic story teller, but possibly the most successful trout bum who ever lived. Voelker’s words invite you into a fishing haven full of stale cigar smoke and brook trout aficionados. There is a clearly defined passion for family, faith, fishing and the outdoors that shines throughout Voelker’s stories. An era that can never be replicated is shared generously in Voelker’s works. You owe it to yourself to read one of his iconic classics.
Auth: Charles Jardine
From beginner to advanced there is something for everyone in this Jardine classic. A very well put together guide on all things fly fishing. If you like seeing historic and transitional flies from around the globe, this book offers some unique and noteworthy patterns. There’s also advice on casting, presentation in different water situations, landing fish and anything in between. A condensed lesson in past and present methods and gear that offers a wealth of knowledge.
Auth: Dave Hughes
Dave Hughes shares not only hundreds of great fly recipes, but also the wisdom and reasoning on when and how to best utilize each one. All the recipes are easy to follow and proven fish catchers. Dave has written many books on flies and entomology that have shaped the fly tier I am today. The techniques and patterns in this book lay out a pathway to better tying and fishing.
Auth: Charlie Craven
Charlie Craven’s flies work. Period. To read Charlie’s reasoning and method behind a fly pattern you gain not only a greater appreciation for the flies, but also an insight into one of the greatest designing minds in the sport. No detail is left to question. Tying some patterns from this or any of his other books will make you a more precise tier with the result being cleaner flies and an increased skill set.
Auth: Keith Fulsher
The Thunder Creek Minnow is still a very commonly used pattern. Nearly 50 years of staying power speaks volumes to the design and efficacy of Fulsher’s flies. My attraction to this book is it’s constant reminder that streamers can be beautiful and minimally dressed at the same time. These patterns are fun to tie and easily adaptable to virtually any species you target.
Auth: Pat Dorsey
Great reference that covers fish foods from chironomids all the way to streamers. The applied knowledge Pat shares in this book will improve your success on the water and at the bench. The patterns in this collection will offer you confidence on water anywhere trout are found.
Auth: Rich Strolis
An amazing collection of techniques and patterns essential to any tier looking to improve their skills and also catch more fish. Rich shares not only great information, but also great photos that easily translate to the tier. Nymphs, dries and streamers all await you in this valuable read.
Auth: George Daniel
If there happened to be a life or death situation based on catching a fish, I’d put my money on George. The rare combination of someone genuinely fishy who puts in the work to always be better. A true student of the fish and their complete environment. From casual weekender to fly fanatic there is a wealth of knowledge to be gleaned from this book.
Auth: Sheridan Anderson
Imagine having to take a test in Fly Fishing 101 before purchasing a fishing license. The Manifesto would be the most absurdly to the point crash course ever to be conjured. Anderson’s wit combined with artistic skill makes learning fun in a twisted way. The book is hilarious and yet cuts to the core of everything you need to know to catch trout on a fly. Definitely a MUST HAVE in any library.


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