Quite simply this is the best book I have read on fly-fishing, and I have well over 100 books on fly-fishing in my bookcases. This simplified approach to catching trout, without the baggage of myth, pseudo-science, and self-serving BS is something I have tried to preach in my own books and articles – just wish I could write it half as well.
I don’t care where in the world you fly-fish for trout, read it and become a better fly-fisher.
“In What Trout Want, Bob Wyatt busts one of fly-fishing’s biggest myths -selectivity- and teaches readers how to:
Simplify fly pattern design
Reduce the number of patterns needed
Improve presentation and stealth
Catch pressured trout
Catching trout simplified
A brilliantly written and well-crafted exposé fly fishing’s greatest myths–selectivity, matching the hatch, pressured fish, fish feeling pain, precise imitations, drag-free drifts
Recipes for the author’s tried-and-true patterns
Practical, down-to-earth suggestions for catching fish”
As a New Zealand fisherman with over 50 years experience, I am acutely aware of the almost dreamlike reputation New Zealand’s trout fishing holds for many overseas anglers. Unfortunately much of that dream has been fuelled by over-hyping in print, TV and other media. Sure we have big trout in superb surroundings, but the big trout are hard to catch, and require for the most part good fly-fishing skills, where casting and presentation techniques are key. Fortunately Trout Diaries is extremely well written, and through an anecdotal style reveals the true nature and reality of New Zealand trout fishing, and the techniques that can lead to success. In many ways the books title is a misnomer, it is most certainly not a ‘I did this on this day’ book, but covers a years worth of fishing trips throughout both the North and South Island of New Zealand. On the way you will meet some of the true characters that fish our waters, and learn a lot. I cannot recommend Trout Dairies highly enough.
“This is such a fine book; one that is able to be enjoyed on several levels. It has inspired me to fish some new water, and it offers some gems on how to fly fish. The Trout Diaries is occupied by some of the most interesting characters to inhabit our angling literature, and the author has captured their voices beautifully. The book will appeal to people looking for the adventure that comes from new places and people, but primarily for me, it was about an adventure of the soul. This ultimate adventure, so well described, is the most important journey of all, and is what will make this book appeal to an audience well beyond anglers. It is a book that can make you laugh and cry, which is quite something for a book supposedly about angling.”
“Derek Grzelewski sees what most others do not; his thoughtful observations are carefully wound into stories that are neither just about technique, nor about the requisite equipment but rather how fishing for trout, pounding miles of river bank, chance encounters with locals and peering from bridges into running water, feed us. He threads his 12 months of fishing with his life experiences. This is not a book about pounds, numbers or the one that got away. He recounts his meetings with professionals, scientists, cockies, novices, old timers, whitebaiters… for each of them a different slant on what they take from the fabulously fresh still and running waters of New Zealand. I couldn’t put the book down.”
In a word, ‘stunning’, is the best way to describe this new book of photographs on fly-fishing in New Zealand.
In his introduction, Bob South, award-winning editor of Fish & Game New Zealand magazine, makes a case that Zane Mirfin’s superb photography confirms that New Zealand, head-and-shoulders above anywhere else, warrants the tag The Last Best Place for fly-fishing. South maintains that Mirfin’s uncanny camerawork allows us all, even the most cynical, to know that, in terms of fly-fishing, we’ve certainly come nowhere near the stage where all is lost here, either in the pollution-susceptible lowland systems, in didymo-invaded mountain streams, or deep in the fragile backcountry. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Zane Mirfin – fishing guide, author, and award-winning photographer, has captured the essence of what makes fly-fishing in New Zealand unique and special. Over 100 remarkable images reveal the drama, splendour, and excitement that is fly-fishing in New Zealand. The images stand alone as a feast for the eye of any angler – each worth more than a thousand words. Each telling its own story.
In place of the usual narrative, editor Bob South has selected quotations from angling icons, writers, and celebrities to complement each of these stunning photos of The Last Best Place.
Charlie Craven is one of the best tutors of fly tying I have come across. I first came across his marvellous work in John Barr’s book ‘Barr Flies’ – Charlie did the tutorials in that book backed up by superb step by step photos. I think they set a new standard in fly tying tutoring.
Now Charlie has his own book out , ‘Charlie Craven’s Basic Fly Tying’.
Basic fly tying? I guess it is if you look at the flies he has chosen to present, but on every page are tips and tricks that I guarantee will have you smacking yourself on the forehead, and thinking “why didn’t I think of that.”
Anyone working through this book will have covered most of the ground needed to tie almost any fly. If anything Charlie’s photos and words have exceeded the standard he set in the Barr book.
I have been fly-tying for over 40 years, and I still learned heaps. If you are starting out fly-tying get this book, do not delay – so you do not learn the bad habits we old tyers have picked up. If you have a friend or family member just starting tying, buy it as a present, they will continue to thank you for it for years to come, every time they sit at the fly-tying desk.
I promised some time ago to put up a photo of Booby fly variants on the Booby fly article, and finally I found my round-to-it, and it is up there, and as a special bonus it is here as well.
Top is a Rabbit Booby, next a Mink Booby.
The third from the top is a Sparkle Booby, good daytime fly and on moonlit nights.
The Viva Variant Booby is good at night and during the day – yes I know the rule, dark flies for the dark bright flies for the light – rules are for the obedience of fools, merely guides for the wise.
The Little Black Number is good at night and in the day – read the rule above.
The bottom fly, a Blob Booby works well at night and daytime too.
There are tying and fishing instructions for all variants in the original article.