Fly Fishing Literature: Fishing with the Fly

by Charles F. Orvis – A. Nelson Cheney 1883


” What comfortable satisfaction or foreboding premonitions do you image possess the noble lord while he is taking his recuperative rest in the middle chamber, after passing from his matriculation in the sea ? Faith ! you can almost read his emotions in the slow pulsations of his pectoral fins, and the infliction of his throbbing tail ? Perhaps he shrinks from the barricade of rock and foam before him ; or hesitates to essay the royal arch above the gorge, which reflects in prismatic hues of emblematic glory the mist and mysteries of the unattempted passage.
And his doughty squires around him ; do they share his misgivings, or are they all royal bloods together, sans peur sans reproche, in scale armiture of blue and silver, eager to attain the land of promise and the ultimate degree of revelation ? Ah, the way is indeed beset with difficulties and crucial tests, but its end is joy and fulness of knowledge : and “knowledge is the beginning of life.”

boy that’s schmaltzy but what  great schmaltz !


along with assorted goodies such as: Fly Casting for Salmon, The Angler’s Greeting and close to my heart, Why Peter Went A-Fishing
this isn’t your average collection of angling literature.


there’s also a few of these but the real gems are in word form.
to access the 302 other pages on Internet Archive click either pic. enjoy !


Advanced Nymphing Techniques with George Daniel

dynamic nymphing
i recently purchased George’s book and after reading a few pages and several “woW ! this is really good, no, GREAT stuff !”, i did a quick video search and came up with these three gems to share here because frankly, even though there might be a whole lot of books and videos on fly fishing techniques it’s not very often to find one that doesn’t seem to be someone else’s rehashed methods or basically that can help us add to our game and improve our fishing capabilities in any coherent manner.
as you might have guessed, this book does the exact opposite and delivers and delivers a lot. highly recommended for any river angler that isn’t one of those sticky dry-fly purists, this one’s not to miss.
until you do (and you should!), here’s about 45 minutes worth of nymphing specific lectures that George does all around the USA to wet your nymphing appetites. the book obviously has all the missing parts of the bigger picture. enjoy !

click the book image above to purchase George’s book. you can also find it on Amazon in paper and Kindle formats.

Dry Fly Fishing in Theory and Practice

dryflyfishing cover halfordanother doozy from the infamous “Detached Badger of “The Field” *,  Frederic Michael Halford, first printed in 1889 via

while all of us in the Northern Hemisphere are secretly hating all those that aren’t, impatiently waiting for open waters and better days… here’s a more than amusing and informative and oh boy, once again reminder that while certain details have changed through fly fishing history, the bigger picture hasn’t evolved that much.

a few tidbits-


rod action


rod length
and if those don’t get your interest, this one on rod-holding ‘butt spears’ should do the trick.

butt spears

click either text/image to access the complete 400 or so page book. its well worth the read, besides, well, its well worth the read.
the guy sure had a lot to say about everything one might want to know and then more. enjoy !

* please don’t ask. i have no idea and i really don’t want to know.

American Trout-Stream Insects

by Louis Rhead 1914 via OpenLibrary
Am. trout-stream insects TLC 8-11-13
without a doubt we can be pretty sure that hatch timetables and even bug species in the last ninety-nine years have come to be inexistent in some areas while others have taken their place, we’re still left with an enormous wealth of information regarding river-side insect life and how to put this to good use.
geared towards U.S. rivers, anglers from around the world will find similarities and usefulness for their own waters. besides, i’m not sure it really matters, it’s a great read regardless and maybe a reminder that bugs is bugs and fishes is fishes and fly fishing hasn’t changed all that much and there’s still a lot to learn from the past.
americantroutstr00rhearich_0053the many hand-drawn plates created by the author back up all the groovy buggy-fishy info with beauty, further sharing the notion that it’s not just a matter of fish food and catching fish but of creatures to be admired on their own and thank you Mr Rhead for that.
click either image for 177 pages of old school coolness online or HERE to download PDF, Kindle and others to enjoy this offline.

Salmon Casts and Stray Shots

salmon casts and stray shots coverfirst attracted by the book’s and certain chapter’s titles such as the ” To The West, To The West ! “, this meandering, Scottish-based tale full of quirky anecdotes and full-on explanations why a salmon angler is more of a man than a lowly ‘yellow trout’ fisher… this fun-filled publication by John Colquhoun in 1858 is somehow setting the tone for my upcoming trip at the end of the month for the annual Gathering/Barrio ProTeam Hootenanny/yellow trout fishing trip/catch up with friends old and new/fine asian food/drive the van into the dust trip. somehow.


whether you plan on going to Scotland or not it still remains a fine read and comes highly recommended if you’re in the mood for something ‘exotic’.

click either book page to access the complete work on or here to download the PDF file for offline reading. enjoy !

related articles

The Trout Fly Dresser’s Cabinet of Devices

or How to Tie Flies for Trout and Grayling Fishing by H.G. McClelland  “Athenian” (yes, Athenian) 1898%22Athenian%22

some say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, i completely disagree.
i’ve been doing this all my life and to be honest, i seriously doubt that i’ve abandoned a book in mid-read more times than i have fingers on either hand (five) and two of those have been the miserably boring Moby Dick. (i wanted to be sure it wasn’t just a momentary ‘not in the right frame of mind’ thing).
anyhow, if today’s fly fishing literary blast from the past doesn’t entice by it’s understated mysteriousness and greenness then i don’t know what does…
book cover

quirky author names and greenness aside, (and  quite a few great ideas and suggestions on fly dressing that may or may not have held up through time), what brought me and undoubtedly you too to this page is ‘Athenian’s’ Machiavellian decision to use “Cabinet of Devises” in the title. that’s twisted but it’s a good twisted that did the trick.
a very fine read indeed filled with goodies such as advocating the use of peacock quill, how it “shows a well defined rib of color” but also how the young author met his untimely demise “just when the doors of manhood where opening to him… “

click either image to access this complete ebook gem on
enjoy !
%22cabinet of devices%22

American Trout-Stream Insects: A guide to angling flies and other aquatic insects alluring to trout

by Louis Rhead  1916 am. trout-stream insects 1
 it’s hard to tell how much humor was originally intended by the author but here’s an amusing 177 page blast from the past with all sorts of goodies such as:
Trout flies in April- When insects first appear
Why it is best to copy nature
Shiny Devils and
Artificial frogs that wiggle their legs and float

amer. trout-stream insects 2

once past the silly giggles we’ll notice that Rhead was quite the modern and even avant-garde angler, completely understanding the successful fly fisher will not solely fish with surface flies but also larval and nymphal imitations and that typical ‘trout-insects’ aren’t the only food item our slimy friends like to eat.
he also didn’t have any qualms criticizing his peers when need be and thought that sticking needles into insects wasn’t the best way to study a living creature.

a really nice informative and entertaining read, click either image to access the complete e-book on
enjoy !

The View From Coal Creek

-Reflections on Fly Rods, Canyons and Bamboo-

what a nice treat and just in time for the holidays ! one of my all time favorite fly fishing writers, Erin Block the woman behind the awesome Mysteries Internal blog has just finished what i’m more than certain will be by judging her wonderful writing, a milestone in fly fishing literature.
if you’re not familiar with Erin’s world, click the link above and you’ll see what i mean. magical…

“The View from Coal Creek is a reflection on fly rods, fishing, and life seen from the vantage of a canyon in Colorado, but these are props in a larger story about life, love, and tradition. Erin Block is a young, powerful voice carrying the torch and passing on lessons, values, and history of this great, literary and vibrant sport.”

 the view from coal cree- erin block

available in just a few weeks, click the pic to pre-order yours from Whitefish Press at a special price as soon as possible as i’m sure they’ll go fast.

What Trout Want is out !

 here’s your chance to get a pre-run autographed copy of Bob Wyatt‘s infamous book. it’s a limited edition, so hurry ! click the pic to access Carl McNeil’s sale page and Bob’s link to see some of the groovy flies and stuff already shared here.

speaking of, be on the lookout for an up and coming Cobra-Contest giveaway with one of Bob’s great tying videos as prize. stay tuned !

What Trout Want

– The Educated Trout and Other Myths  by Bob Wyatt

there’s so much self-important  blah-blahing in contemporary fly fishing literature that new books of real interest are far and few between.
coming out somewhere around the 2013 new year, Bob Wyatt’s new book promises to set things straight by debunking popularized wishful thinking and insecurities… and  getting back to the subject of fish and fishing instead of the angler’s ego.
author of the highly respected Trout Hunting: The Pursuit of Happiness, this new one seems even more promising.

not from the up and coming book but i like his way of thinking and very much look forward to reading and studying this new book.

After decades of thinking about trout as cunning and fussy critters with eating disorders, my fly tying programme finally got traction with the ‘trigger’ concept. Behavioural science terms like ‘behavioural releaser’, ‘supernormal stimulus’, ‘optimal foraging strategy’ and ‘fixed action pattern’ entered my angling vocabulary. Everything just sort of came together and for the first time in my angling life started to make sense.

Where we get to with this behavioural business is the rather revolutionary idea that trout are, in fact, not cunning and fussy at all. But they are efficient. The simplest, and therefore probably the correct, explanation for why emergers usually work better than dry dun patterns is simply that trout quickly key onto the prey that is most abundant, most visible, and easiest to catch. “
-extract from Bob’s ‘The Hang of it’ via Carl McNeil’s Bumcasts

distributed by Stackpole/Headwater Books, pre-orders for the international market are already available through Amazon

“Nature of Fly Casting” is Dead !

and i couldn’t be happier !
after what feels like four thousand years in the making, Jason’s putting the final touches on his new fly casting book, a completely reworked, focusing specifically on single-handed casting continuation of his infamous ‘Nature of Fly Casting – A Modular Approach, which in my opinion, was the absolute best book on fly casting ever. period.
the prospect of an up-to-date reworked edition of this seminal book is for us casting geeks about as exciting as it gets (well, almost ! :mrgreen: )

” As many of you know, I’ve been working on a revised version of my Nature of Fly Casting book. As it turns out, I have actually been writing two fly casting books, I just didn’t realize it fully until last week. Originally, Nature of Fly Casting was a book that I wanted to really cover the bases—after all, the title simply said “fly casting” and in my mind, that’s a very big term that includes single- and double-handed skills. Only one problem: Nature didn’t end up covering as much as I had originally envisioned. “

my first series in hardback copy is on order. rest assured i’ll let you know when they’ll be available.

this image may or may not be the final book cover, the suspense continues !

the first edition all had a hand-signed note from Jason when ordered directly through his site Fish, Flies & Water

needless to say, my copy will always be a prized possession….

brainwashem’ young – My First Trout

offering comprehensive insights and information on just about every aspect of fly fishing for trout and salmon, these books make fantastic gifts for the little ones and are a nice addition to our guidance and tutoring. bringing them back to the realm of books, the feel of paper and who knows, maybe the sense of discovery and imagination sorely missing from fast-food internet.

“My First Trout is a must for every child. Author Eoin Fairgrieve will capture the imagination of every budding fly-fisher. The book is beautifully illustrated in watercolour by acclaimed artist Ronnie Glass and includes chapters on the trout’s lifecycle, water safety, basic fly-casting, tackle advice and care for the trout and its habitat. A delightful book and a perfect present for your daughter, son, nephew, niece or grandchild”

 following in the footsteps is Eoin’s second book of the series: My First Salmon

click either image to purchase these fine books.