Fly fishing is a much loved part of the fishing community, and can be argued as one of the more popular forms of fishing. Regardless of whether you agree with that sentiment or not, there’s no denying the need for informational resources to help fishers improve their form. Consequently, we’ve compiled a concise overview of some of the best books about fly fishing, for novices, intermediate, and advanced fishers.
Top 8 Fly Fishing Books
Fly Fishing For Dummies, By Peter Kaminsky
Nothing quite says introduction to fly fishing than one designed with “dummies” in mind. The popular For Dummies publisher is known by many, for it covers a variety of topics, with the aim being to help introduce the basic and most essential details about the given topic. In this book, the 384 pages help you to identify the best fish for fly fishing, how to better your technique, how to choose the right rod, and so on. Please note that this book was first published in the late 1990s, and so some of the information may be outdated now.
The Orvis Guide to Beginning Fly Fishing: 101 Tips for the Absolute Beginner, By The Orvis Company
As the title promptly details, there’s 101 pieces of advice on how to become better at fly fishing, therefore making this a great all rounder book for fishers, as well as an introductory title. Each piece of information comes with handy illustrations, meaning that you will have a clear visual for every new technique you learn. Although this book was first published in 2009, it’s still popular fish fly fishers, with many dubbing it as a “great introduction” to the subject.
The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide, Revised, By Tom Rosenbauer
Given the name of this book, it should go without saying that this edition is the updated version of the above Orvis Company title. The revised guide was published in 2017, thus improving the techniques listed, the illustrations/photographs used, and basically giving everything a much needed revamp. What helps this title stand out from others is how it talks about fishing ethics, and how you can “give back” to the environment in order to make the hobby more sustainable.
Carp on the Fly: A Flyfishing Guide, By Barry Reynolds Et Al
This is one of the golden oldies on the list, having first been published in 1997. Even though this is an older guide to fly fishing, it’s one that still interests modern fishers to this day, with many readers describing it as the best book on the topic. Consisting of 170 plus pages, this is a short read, and one that’s suited to all skills of fishers. Please note, that this book is quite specific to North America, and so may not be suited to fishers situated elsewhere.
Every Day Was Special: A Fly Fisher’s Lifelong Passion, By William G. Tapply
We come to a more unusual fly fisher read now, as this compilation of stories is more a work of fiction born out of a passion for fly fishing than a how-to guide. Each of the 30 stories walks you through a fly fishing experience that the now deceased author, Tapply, experienced during his life. As a result, there are golden, personalised insights into fishing techniques, where to fish, etc. However, as far as guides go, this will likely be one of the less educational and more for recreation.
Trout and Their Food: A Compact Guide for Fly Fishers, By Dave Whitlock
This Whitlock book consists of the best articles that Dave Whitlock has written on the topic of fly fishing, thus making it more a collection of educational articles than a single publication. According to critics and reviewers, there’s few authors who know more about trout and their behaviour than Whitlock, a sentiment that is mirrored by readers. This 208 pages book is said to be an excellent title for beginners, although some readers warn that the kindle edition is harder to read.
How to Flyfish: Tips, Lessons, and Techniques for Catching More Fish, By John Symonds
Released in 2019, this is one of the more contemporary titles on our fly fishing book list. Written by UK author, Symonds, this book details tips on streamers, how to get started, what bait to use, how to locate fish in each body of water, and various other subsections. The beauty of this title is that it’s written by someone who learned about fly fishing through their own trial and error approach, thus giving it an informal and more accessible means of educating you on the matter. What is more, this book is packed with information that will always serve a fisher well, meaning that even if you’re an advanced fisher, you still stand to learn something new and/or brush up on your skills.
Beyond Catch & Release: Exploring the Future of Fly Fishing, By Paul Guernsey
For those of you who want to look at the longevity of fly fishing as well as a general how-to, then there’s no better book than Beyond Catch and Release. What sets this apart from other titles is that it looks at the environmental impact of the modern world of our water, the landscape, and the creatures that inhabit both. As a result, this book discusses how ethics should be a huge part of the fly fishing experience if the hobby is to survive in the 21st century. Thought-provoking, detailed, and concise, this 144 pages title is one for every fisher’s bookshelf.
Even though everyone would like to be a natural born fly fisher, the truth is that the hobby can be hard to grasp. Consequently, it’s wise to read up and learn more about the topic, in order to give yourself a headstart when first starting out. Each of the books mentioned are unique in their approach, however they all provide information that is sure to guide you through the intricacies of fly fishing.