Bibliography of fly fishing

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Fly fishing book plate from Louis Rhead (1907)[1]

This general annotated bibliography page provides an overview of notable and not so notable works in the English language regarding the sport of fly fishing, listed by year of first publication. Although not all the listed books are devoted exclusively to fly fishing, all these titles contain significant fly fishing content. The focus of the present page is on classic general texts on fly fishing and its history, together with notable public or university library collections dedicated to fly fishing.

Annotations[edit]

Annotations may reflect descriptive comments from the book's dust jacket, third party reviews or personal, descriptive and qualitative comments by individuals who have read the book. Some older works have links to online versions in the Internet Archive or Google Books.

Notable fly-fishing library collections[edit]

The Purpose of the Fly Fishing Collection at Western Washington University Libraries Special Collections is to collect, preserve, and provide access to diverse materials supporting study of the sport of fly fishing.

The collection includes books, periodicals, manuscripts, photographs, artworks, audio and video personal interviews and histories, and fly fishing artifacts such as rods, reels, flies, and fly tying materials.[2]

A sub-collection within the larger fly fishing collection at Western Washington University is the Paul and Mary Ann Ford Fly Fishing Collection which includes

American works about fly fishing in America that are of fine quality in both physical presentation and content. The collection's current emphasis is on the spiritual, sociological, and aesthetic aspects of fly fishing. In addition to books, the collection includes magazines, paintings, prints, sculpture, and needlework. The Fords began transferring the collection to Western Libraries Special Collections in late 2003. It will be transferred in stages and will include newly published works of distinction selected by the Fords.[3]

The Kienbusch Collection at Princeton University contains some the of the most extraordinary gems in the history of angling literature. There are about 1500 books and manuscripts in all, representing the collective wisdom of five centuries of angling writers, from Berners to Bergman and beyond ....[4]

The Library of the University of British Columbia has an excellent collection of books on angling and fly-fishing, known as the Harry Hawthorn Collection. At present it totals more than 1800 books, including many rare and valuable items. This Collection came about as the result of a fishing holiday in 1953 by eight UBC professors and Roderick Haig-Brown at Upper Campbell Lake.

The Milne Angling Collection includes a large number of volumes that represent the very beginnings of angling literature. Dame Juliana Berners' A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle (1496) is considered the first book on the subject printed in England. Although some question her authorship, Berners, who was prioress of the Benedictine abbey of Sopwell, occupies a similar place in angling literature to that accorded Chaucer in English literature. The Milne Collection contains several editions of Berners' work dating from the 1827 William Pickering edition to modern versions, such as the one published in John McDonald's Quill Gordon (1972).

Since our beginnings in the late Nineteenth Century, the MSU Libraries has strived to develop a world–class research collection in support of the academic goals of our university, including those of local interest with national and international resonance. Sixty years of research on fish and fisheries has given MSU a strong tradition on which to build the nation's preeminent trout and salmonoid collection. Not only does the collection support this world–class research, but it is a focal point of local and regional pride for those who care about the salmonoid species’ well being and about the waters that flow through this region. Housed in the MSU Libraries’ Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections, this collection is open to the public for use on the premises in a controlled archival environment.

    • Contains the following notable collections:
      • Strung, Norman (Literary manuscripts and correspondence, 1966–1982)
      • Pellicane, Alfred T. (Papers, 1962–2000)
      • Mitchell, Harry B. (Papers, 1953–1965)
      • Agassiz, Louis (Letters, 1854–1858)
      • Salmon Poisoning Research Collection (Papers, 1923–1999)
      • Nick Lyons Ephemera Collection (Corporate records and personal papers, 1932–2005)
      • Behnke, Robert J. (Papers, 1957–2000)

15th-century texts[edit]

Although it was once regarded as the source from which all later works on fly fishing sprang, the Treatyse can now, more correctly, be regarded as a British text on fly fishing which happens to have survived, although its status as the earliest English printed book on fishing means that it remains hugely influential.

— Dr. Andrew Herd, The Fly, 2001[5]

17th-century texts[edit]

  • Dennys, John (1652). The Secrets of Angling. London: John Harrison. , The Secrets of Angling contains the first know illustration of an artificial fly.[6] Denny's book was reprinted extensively in the 19th century.
  • Walton, Izaak (1653). The Compleat Angler. London. , Izaak Walton did not profess to be an expert with the fly; the fly fishing in his first edition was contributed by Thomas Barker, a retired cook and humorist, who produced a treatise of his own in 1659. In the last edition a second part was added by his friend Charles Cotton, who took up Venator where Walton had left him and completed his instruction in fly fishing and the making of flies.
  • Venables, Colonel Robert (1662). The Experienced Angler or Angling Improved. London: Richard Marriott. , Extensively cited in Herd's The Fly, Venables work provides great insight into the fly tackle and techniques being used in the 17th century[7]

18th-century texts[edit]

He makes mention of the multiplying reel, the first time we hear of it, but evidently not unknown before his day. In the second part of the book, which has the special title The Complete Fly-fisher, he describes the dressing of many flies and their killing powers. Upon the whole, it is a practical and sensible work.

— James Robb, Notable Angling Literature, 1945[9]

19th-century texts[edit]

As John Waller Hills says in Fly Fishing for Trout, "Its excellence lies in three features: the directions for fly fishing including one of the early recommendations of upstream fishing, the directions for fly dressing, and the knowledge shewn of the life of the natural fly, which is in advance of anything that had appeared before”

— Sylvester Nemes, 2004.[13]

Thaddeus Norris, who Arnold Gingrich called the American Walton, is widely regarded as the most important American angling author of the nineteenth century. His American Angler's Book, first published in 1864, lasted far longer that most modern fishing books seem to, and was a monument of practical instruction

— Paul Schullery, The American Fly Fisher, 1980.[16]

Fly-fishing history, bibliographies and literature reviews[edit]

His history is suspect, at best. Westwood and Sachell, in their milestone Bibliotheca Piscatoria (1883), give the following opinions of Historical Sketches: "A slip-shod and negligent work, devoid of all real utility. A mere farrago of matter relevant and irrelevant, of indiscriminate sweepings from miscellaneous sources, of quotations incorrectly given and of so-called original passages the vaqueness and uncertainty of which rob them of all weight and value. Names and dates are seldom given, or are inaccurately...." They go on to catalog a few of the grosser errors and conclude that the book's only value is in its excellent bibliography, which, as we will see, also has its problems.

— Paul Schullery, The American Fly Fisher, 1985.[21]

  • Smith, John Russell (1861). A Bibliographical Catalogue of English Writers on Angling and Ichthyology. London: Tucker & Company. 
  • Albee, Louise Rankin (1896). Justin Winsor, ed. The Bartlett Collection-A List of Books on Angling, Fishes and Fish Culture in Harvard University Library. Cambridge, MS: Harvard University Library. 
  • Westwood, T.; Satchell, T (1883). Bibliotheca Piscatoria-A Catalogue of Books on Angling, The Fisheries and Fish Culture with citations touching on angling and fishing from old English authors. Covent Garden, London: W. Satchell. 
  • Hills, John Waller (1921). A History of Fly Fishing for Trout. London: Phillp Allan & Co. , Dr. Andrew Herd credits Hill with the first attempt to codify the history of fly fishing, albeit Hill's work shows a distinctly British bias and disregard for other European influences.[7]
  • Radcliffe, William (1921). Fishing From the Earliest Times. London: John Murray. 
  • Goodspeed, Charles E. (1939). Angling in America-Its Early History and Literature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 
  • Robb, James (1945). Notable Angling Literature. London: Herbert Jenkins Limited. 
  • Starkman, Susan B.; Read, Stanley E. (1970). The Contemplative Man's Recreation: A Bibliography of Books on Angling and Game Fish in the Library of The University of British Columbia. Vancouver, Canada: The Library of the University of British Columbia. , contains a Chronological Appendix Indicating Landmarks in the Evolution of Angling Literature and Some Prefatory Matters Pertaining to the History of The Harry Hawthorn Foundation for the Inculcation and Propagation of the Principles and Ethics of Fly-Fishing. Contains illustrations.[22]
  • McDonald, John (1972). Quill Gordon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-46989-5. 
  • Gingrich, Arnold (1973). The Joys of Trout. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-517-50584-3. , listed as one of the modern "classics" of angling in the University of New Hampshire Library Milne Angling Collection[23]
  • Gingrich, Arnold (1974). The Fishing In Print-A Guided Tour Through Five Centuries of Angling Literature. New York: Winchester Press. , Gingrich, the well known founding editor of Esquire magazine surveys the major pieces of classic and modern fly fishing literature up through the 1950s. It is an excellent read to get a better understanding of the evolution of the various styles of fly fishing—wet, nymphs, dry, etc. as originally written about by the likes of Halford, Skues, Gordon and Jennings along with many others.

Arnold Gingrich, founding editor of Esquire magazine, is a tremendous part of the literary history of fly fishing. The Fishing In Print, The Joys of Trout, and The Well-Tempered Angler are indispensable titles to the well-read fly fisherman of today.

— Glenn Law, A Concise History of Fly Fishing, 1995.[24]

  • Waterman, Charles F. (1981). A History of Angling. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Winchester Press. ISBN 0-87691-343-5. 
  • Sheets, K. A. (1993). American Fishing Books-A Guide to Values. Ann Arbor, MI: Anglers and Scholars. , an alphabetical, by author, list of over 2000 titles of American published fishing books with values for collectable copies estimated by the author.
  • Schullery, Paul (1996). American Fly Fishing-A History. Norwalk, CT: The Easton Press. , sponsored by the American Museum of Fly Fishing, Manchester, CT, when Paul Schullery was the managing director, Fly Fishing-A History is probably the most contemporary and complete treatise on the evolution of fly fishing as it is known today,.[25][26]
  • Schwiebert, Ernest (1998). The Henryville Flyfishers-- A Chronicle of American Fly Fishing. Far Hills, NJ: Meadow Run Press. ISBN 1-886967-08-3. , a notable account by Ernest Schwiebert and one of the seminal books on American Fly Fishing clubs.[27]
  • Schullery, Paul (1999). Royal Coachman-The Lore and Legends of Fly-Fishing. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84246-7. , while giving due respect to the elders of Fly-Fishing history, Schullery celebrates some lesser-known fisherman and some seldom-appreciated waters, such as the limestone streams of Pennsylvania. He muses on the pursuit of the ever-more perfectly "natural" fly and contrasts that quest with the storied success of the Royal Coachman, perhaps the gaudiest fly ever invented.[28]
  • Herd, Andrew Dr (2001). The Fly. Ellesmere, Shropshire: Medlar Press. ISBN 1-899600-19-1. 
  • Hayter, Tony (2002). F.M. Halford and the Dry-Fly Revolution. London: Rober Hale. ISBN 0-7090-6773-9. , the first definitive biography of the father of dry fly fishing.[29]
  • Nemes, Sylvester (2004). Two centuries of soft-hackled flies-A survey of literature complete with original patterns. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-0048-8. 
  • Berryman, Jack W. (2006). Fly-Fishing Pioneers and Legends of the Northwest. Seattle, WA: Northwest Fly Fishing LLC. ISBN 978-0-9779454-0-5. 
  • Schullery, Paul (2008). If Fish Could Scream--An Angler's Search For The Future of Fly Fishing. Mechanicburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ISBN 0-8117-0435-1. 

In seven essays sometimes controversial, sometimes reflective, all fascinating, Paul Schullery ruminates on the evolution of fly fishing and delves into the big issues affecting the world of fly fishing today and tomorrow. Dams’ effect on fishing, the supposed cruelty of catch-and-release, competition among fly fishers, spinning versus fly fishing, and how transportation has changed the sport are just a few of the topics he covers.

— The Fireside Angler.[30]

  • Greenhalgh, Malcolm; Jason Smalley (2009). Fishing Flies: A World Encyclopedia of Every Type of Fly. London: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-00-728845-8. 

General fly fishing[edit]

  • Francis, Francis (1920). A Book on Angling Being A Complete Treatise on the Art of Angling in Every Branch. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencott. , 1st US edition of this 1867 book.
  • St John, Larry (1920). Practical Fly Fishing. New York: MacMillan Company. 
  • Gingrich, Arnold (1965). The Well Tempered Angler. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. , more on the fishing life than how to, but lots of good stuff about light tackle fly fishing from the founding editor of Esquire. Contains useful bibliographic references to other fly fishing literature.[31]
  • Slaymaker II, S. R. (1969). Simplified Fly Fishing. New York: Harper & Row Publishers. , a general treatise on the basics of freshwater, warmwater and saltwater fly fishing and tackle.

Sam Slaymaker is a 'complete' a fly fisherman as we have, and despite his profession of simplification, he hasn't held back one iota of his own sophisticated practice of writing in this book

— Arnold Gingrich, The Joys of Trout, 1973[32]

  • Latham, Roger; Bashline, James; Chandler, Leon; DuBois, Donald; Elliot, Bob; Green, Larry; Harvey, George; McNally, Tom; Sosin, Mark; Waterman, Charles (1972). There's No Fishing Like Fly Rod Fishing-The Cortland Series. New York: Richard Rosen's Press Inc. ISBN 0-8239-0248-X. , a compendium of articles by top fly fishing experts on the various aspects of freshwater, warmwater and saltwater fly fishing and tackle. Sponsored by the Cortland Line Company.
  • Hidy, V. S. Pete (1972). The Pleasures of Fly Fishing. New York: Winchester Press. ISBN 0-87691-039-8. , a beautiful compilation of vignettes on fly fishing accompanied by excellent photography of fly fishing experiences.[33]
  • Kreh, Lefty (1992–1996). Lefty's Little Library of Fly Fishing. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. , this is a twenty-five volume set published by Kreh and other authors covers almost every aspect of the sport of fly fishing. Contains the following titles:
    • Kreh, Lefty (1992). Fly Fishing For Trout-Volume 1-Special Techniques. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Goddard, John (1993). Fly Fishing For Trout-Volume 2-Understanding Trout Behavior. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Tullis, Larry (1993). Fly Fishing For Trout-Volume 3-Small Fly Techniques. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Whitlock, Dave (1994). Fly Fishing For Trout-Volume 4-Imitating and Fishing Natural Fish Foods. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Hughes, Dave (1995). Fly Fishing For Trout-Volume 5-Fishing The Four Seasons. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Tullis, Larry (1995). Fly Fishing For Trout-Volume 6-Nymphing Strategies. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1993). Professionals' Favorite Flies-Volume 1-Dry Flies, Emergers, Nymphs & Terrestrials. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1994). Professionals' Favorite Flies-Volume 2-Streamers, Poppers, Crustaceans and Saltwater Patterns. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1992). American Masters Fly Fishing Symposium-Part One-Skills. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1992). American Masters Fly Fishing Symposium-Part Two-Tackle. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1993). American Masters Fly Fishing Symposium-Part Three-The Travel, the Fish, the Life. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1994). Fly Fishing Knots and Connections. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1991). Modern Fly Casting Method-Mastering the Essential Casts. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1994). Advanced Fly Casting. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Richards, Bruce (1994). Modern Fly Lines. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1991). Lefty's Little Tips-200 Innovative Ideas For Improving Your Fly Fishing. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1991). Fly Fishing Techniques and Tactics. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty; Middleton, Harry (1993). Lefty's Favorite Fly Fishing Waters-Volume One-United States. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Bitton, Dennis (1995). A Field Guide To Fly Fishing. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1992). Fly Fishing for Bonefish, Permit & Tarpon. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1993). Fly Fishing for Bass-Smallmouth, Largemouth, Exotics. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1995). Fly Fishing The Inshore Waters. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Teeny, Jim (1994). The Teeny Technique For Steelhead & Salmon. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Law, Glenn (1995). A Concise History of Fly Fishing. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
    • Kreh, Lefty (1996). Lefty's Favorite Fishing Stories & Complete Index. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. 
  • Merwin, John (2001). Streamer Fly Fishing - A Practical Guide to the Best Patterns and Methods of Fishing the Streamer in Rivers, Lakes and Salt Water. New York: Lyons Press. ISBN 1-58574-041-1. 

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rhead, Louis. A Collection of Bookplate Designs. Boston: W. Porter Truesdell. p. 23. 
  2. ^ Western Washington University Libraries Special Collections. "The Fly Fishing Collection". Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Western Washington University Libraries Special Collections. "Paul and Mary Ann Ford Fly Fishing Collection". Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Merritt, J. I. (Summer 1980). "The Kienbusch Collection". The American Fly Fisher 7 (3): 3. 
  5. ^ Herd, Andrew Dr (2001). The Fly. Ellesmere, Shropshire: Medlar Press. p. 43. ISBN 1-899600-19-1. 
  6. ^ Leonard, J. Edson (1950). Flies-Their origin, natural history, tying, hooks, patterns and selections of dry and wet flies, nymphs, streamers, salmon flies for fresh and salt water in North America and the British Isles, including a Dictionary of 2200 Patterns. New York: A.S. Barnes and Company. p. 33. 
  7. ^ a b c d Herd, Andrew Dr (2001). The Fly. Ellesmere, Shropshire: Medlar Press. ISBN 1-899600-19-1. 
  8. ^ Herd, Andrew Dr (2001). The Fly. Ellesmere, Shropshire: Medlar Press. p. 204. ISBN 1-899600-19-1. 
  9. ^ Robb, James (1945). Notable Angling Literature. London: Herbert Jenkins Limited. p. 94. 
  10. ^ Herd, Andrew Dr (2001). The Fly. Ellesmere, Shropshire: Medlar Press. p. 88. ISBN 1-899600-19-1. 
  11. ^ Schullery, Paul (1996). American Fly Fishing-A History. Norwalk, CT: The Easton Press. p. 85. 
  12. ^ Schullery, Paul (2006). Reading The Rise-Streamside Observations on Trout, Flies and Fly Fishing. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. p. 37. 
  13. ^ a b Nemes, Sylvester (2004). Two centuries of soft-hackled flies-A survey of literature complete with original patterns. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. p. 1. ISBN 0-8117-0048-8. 
  14. ^ Schullery, Paul (1999). Royal Coachman-The Lore and Legends of Fly-Fishing. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 175–76. ISBN 0-684-84246-7. 
  15. ^ The Reed Draper Collection of Angling Books, Clark Historical Library, Central Michigan University, [1]
  16. ^ Schullery, Paul (Fall 1980). "Editor's Note to Fly Fishing Alone by Thaddeus Norris". The American Fly Fisher 7 (4): 2. 
  17. ^ Westwood, T.; Satchell, T (1883). Bibliotheca Piscatoria-A Catalogue of Books on Angling, The Fisheries and Fish Culture with citations touching on angling and fishing from old English authors. Covent Garden, London: W. Satchell. p. 165. 
  18. ^ Schullery, Paul, Reading The Rise
  19. ^ The Flyfishers Classic Library
  20. ^ MacKenzie, N. A. M., I Went A-Fishing - A Most Informal Foreword in Starkman, Susan B.; Read, Stanley E. (1970). The Contemplative Man's Recreation: A Bibliography of Books on Angling and Game Fish in the Library of The University of British Columbia. Vancouver, Canada: The Library of the University of British Columbia. p. 7. 
  21. ^ Schullery, Paul (Summer 1985). "America's "Lost" Angling Books: Robert Blakey's Tantalizing References to Early American Fishing Books". The American Fly Fisher 12 (3): 22–25. 
  22. ^ The Harry Hawthorn Foundation, University of British Columbia
  23. ^ University of New Hampshire Library, Milne Angling Collection Selected Highlights, [2]
  24. ^ Law, Glenn (1995). A Concise History of Fly Fishing. Birmingham, Alabama: Odysseus Editions. p. 162. 
  25. ^ Schreiber, Le Anne, IN SHORT: NONFICTION; GIANTS OF THE ROD AND REEL, New York Times Books Review, November 15th, 1987, [3]
  26. ^ Bryant, Nelson, OUTDOORS; Books on Fly-Fishing Bring History and Tips, New York Times Book Review, [4]
  27. ^ Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum Association
  28. ^ McAlister, Jamie, The Non-Fiction Bookpage
  29. ^ Lawton, Terry, Fish and Fly Book Review, http://www.fishandfly.co.uk/bookrevs/halford.html
  30. ^ Fireside Angler
  31. ^ Johnson, George, New & Noteworthy, October 4th, 1987, New York Times Book Review, [5]
  32. ^ Gingrich, Arnold (1973). The Joys of Trout. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. pp. 140–42. ISBN 0-517-50584-3. 
  33. ^ Serviente, Barry (1996). Angler's Art Catalog. Plainfield, PA: The Anglers Art. p. 91.