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Fly Fishing Getting Started - Books

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/26/2010 (4389 reads)
The off season is a great time to look at old books and to explore new ones as well. Some of the early books I read when I was getting started with fly fishing are still good reads and should not be overlooked. The more recent ones hold fresh insight to many of the locations and changes to many of streams in Pennsylvania.

Before you start striping any line or emptying your wallet you might want to take a look at The L.L. Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing by Macauley Lord, Dick Talleur and Dave Whitlock. It is one of the best all around general fly fishing books there is for any new angler to the sport. Their book provides essential information about flies, bugs, gear, concepts, traditions and everything from Atlantic Salmon to the zug bug.

A lot of good first hand information can be found in Flyfisher's Guide to Pennsylvania (Flyfisher's Guide Series) by Dave Wolf and Trout Streams and Hatches of Pennsylvania; A Complete Fly-Fishing Guide to 140 Rivers and Streams by Charles Meck. Both books are carried by seasoned anglers. They not only help in the where, but try to make sense of the what before you get into a stream.

Dwight LandisReading some of the Pennsylvania fly water type books is how I got started early on. Both these books I am about to mention will probably require a trip to a library. There are over 645 public libraries in Pennsylvania so be brave and track one down. When there check out Dwight Landis's book Trout Streams of Pennsylvania published by Hempstead-Lyndell and Mike Sajna's book Pennsylvania Trout & Salmon Fishing Guide published by Frank Amato Publications. Dwight's book provides a lot of hatch information and detailed maps about where to find many streams. Mike shares a lot of similar information, but adds some unique historic accounts of most of these locations. Both these books are what inspired me to start Paflyfish many years ago.

Also in the library look for An Angler's Guide to Aquatic Insects and Their Imitations for All North America by Rick Hafele. Rick's book is more of a 200 level or great read about insects and can get you going in the world of entomology. A more recent and popular bug book is Hatches II: A Complete Guide to the Hatches of North American Trout Streamsby Al Caucci and Bob Nastasi.

There are many more books to explore and even more dynamic information on the Internet. Please feel to share and comment on some of your favorites as well.

Our next post will be taking a look at getting you going with rods, reels and line.
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Published: 2010/1/27 23:50  Updated: 2010/1/27 23:50
Joined: 09/21/2006
From: Pittsburgh
Comments: 949
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Books
My first fly fishing book was Charlie Meck's "Meeting and Fishing the Hatches". I bought it when I started flyfishing in the early '80's.
It was my first guide for fishing and tying. And got me to start fishing the little juniata river, along with quite a few other PA streams
Published: 2010/1/28 7:19  Updated: 2010/1/28 7:19
Joined: 05/29/2009
From: harlansburg
Comments: 618
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Books
my first book was titled, a beginners guide to flyfishing, or at least that's what I remember, I have long since passed it on to someone else just starting out. my second book was "trout bum" by john geirach, which was a long time ago, I believe it was just written. since then I've aquired every book geirach has written, great writting.
the curtis creek manifesto is another great read for beginners.
landis's book should be required for anyone who owns a flyrod!
Published: 2010/1/28 10:34  Updated: 2010/1/28 10:34
Joined: 08/24/2008
From: Mount Joy, PA
Comments: 178
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Books
Being new to this sport in the past few years, I can attest that many of the books mentioned are proven "winners". The LL Bean book is great for covering all aspects of fly fishing right up through tying flies. The Meck book is also great for reading up on all the different popular trout streams this state has to offer. It's an invaluable resource to hatches, locations, etc.
The 'Hatches II' book I picked up at the local factory outlets for a dirt cheap price. It is a great book on entymology although it can be too in-depth for a beginning fly fisher. It's not the type of book you can sit down and read for an hour or two at a clip.
Lastly, I can't say enough about ordering books through I've picked up many books for a fraction of the new price through that website and most of them have been 'used'. Don't be fooled by the 'used' description as often times it's nothing more than a minor blemish!
Published: 2010/1/28 10:44  Updated: 2010/1/28 10:44
Joined: 01/02/2008
From: Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Area
Comments: 4
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Books
I have read/own the L.L. Bean ultimate FFish book and still go back for refrence almost everytime i'm tying flies or days before and after trips.
Published: 2010/1/28 17:08  Updated: 2010/1/28 17:08
Joined: 08/12/2009
From: chester county
Comments: 53
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Books
I have a TU book called "Guide to Pennsylvania Limestone Streams" by A. Joseph Armstrong. The author basically fished every limestone stream in PA and wrote his experience at each stream in this book. I'm not sure many places have this book, I found it while looking for surf-fishing books in O.C. maryland. Have never seen it anywhere else. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. the trick is finding it.
Published: 2010/1/28 22:07  Updated: 2010/1/28 22:07
Joined: 09/08/2006
Comments: 1284
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Books

I think I had another Charles Meck book, Pennsylvania Trout Streams and Their Hatches. Covered a lot of PA in the the late 80's.
Published: 2010/1/29 7:01  Updated: 2010/1/29 7:01
Joined: 09/21/2006
From: Pittsburgh
Comments: 949
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Books
Dave - "Meeting and Fishing the Hatches" is Charlies's first book, written in 1978 if I remember correctly. It's mostly about PA fishing, even though the title doesn't really suggest that. And he does touch on a little western fishing in it.

The later "PA Trout Streams" is certainly a lot more in depth guide book to all of the better streams in out state, however
Published: 2010/2/4 18:25  Updated: 2010/2/8 9:20
Joined: 10/15/2009
From: Dispositionally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Comments: 370
 Re: Fly Fishing Getting Started - Books
The Armstrong book mentioned in the first comment (the one with the photo of Frank Nale on the cover) was a project Joe undertook with the noble purpose of having all/some of the royalties from the book going to support the TU mission in Pennsylvania is specific.

It's a good book for what it is; an honest speculative exploration of as many of PA's limestone streams as possible sample and assess their worthiness as fishing destinations.

It isn't that hard to find.. As of this writing, Amazon has 6 used copies for sale: ... oks&qid=1265325491&sr=1-1

Joe's book is not the definitive or only PA trout stream guide you'll ever need. It is a neat book though with a lot of anecdotal delights. if you buy it (I imagine the deal still holds), you'll also help the TU mission in PA.

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