CCF member Gay Barclay has been fly fishing for 20 years, and reading about the sport for nearly as long. She's fished all over the world, from Russia to Iceland to the spring creeks of Montana, and her favorite books reflect this love of travel, as well as a desire to bring more female anglers into the fly-fishing community. We asked her to share her favorite fishing books, and the following is her response:
Joan Wulff's Fly-Fishing: Expert Advice from a Woman's Perspective
Joan Salvato Wulff, Stackpole Books
"Don't wear anyone else's boots." What else is there to say, really? No one knows more about fly-fishing than Joan Wulff, and in this book, she tells us, woman-to-woman, what the sport is all about. She offers expert advice on tackle, casting, trout, reading the water and more—my favorite chapter is the one on guides, in which she tells us what to expect from a good guide, and how to "muddle through" when stuck with a bad one. She also finds time to regale us with stories about our heroine Dame Juliana Berners, who wrote the first book on fly fishing in 1496. As an added bonus, this book has great drawings and casting images, and I still refer to it often when I forget about hook sizes and need to prepare for a trip to the saltwater flats.
A Sand County Almanac
Aldo Leopold, Oxford University Press
Although it was first published more than 60 years ago, this book has stood the test of time and it remains fresh on every read. It's full of keen observations and lyrical prose about conservation, land use and life in the outdoors; Leopold, for instance, gave us the enduring description of conservation as "a state of harmony between men and land." Give this book to anyone who cares about the land or loves beautiful writing, and bookmark for them the description of a day spent fishing the Alder Fork. I guarantee they'll be thanking you for years to come.
Trout of the World
James Prosek, Stewart, Tabori&Chang
No other book gives me more of an itch to hit the road in search of gorgeous fish or inspires a greater sense of wonder than James Prosek's Trout of the World. Thumbing through the pages of Prosek's glorious watercolors of trout from every corner of the globe makes me want to catch the first flight to Serbia to find Jerma Brook, just to lay my eyes on a Black Sea brown trout. Who knew that Uzbekistan, Armenia, Japan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iran had waters holding trout with colors and spots to make you weep? I didn't, and now I want to see them myself. Give this book to a fellow traveler, or friend with an eye for fine art.