Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Review: 50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish

First, a big thanks to Stonefly press for giving me the chance to review the book, "50 Best Tailwaters to Fly Fish" by Terry and Wendy Gunn.  This is certainly an ambitious title and I'm sure there are legions of fly fisherman that have an opinion on whether or not the Gunns got their river right.  The book contains a hefty number of renowned tailwaters and I found it great to have a compiled bunch of descriptions for tailwaters we hear about a lot.  At first I tried to read every write-up on every tailwater out there and soon realized how MUCH information is in this book-- so I covered all of the western tailwaters thoroughly, hit a few of the eastern tailwaters and skimmed the rest of the book so that I could get this review done in a timely manner. Here goes.

What This Book Is:
This book is the appetite wetter of all appetite wetters.  Flip through the copious number of quality photos in this book and you'll have an irresistible urge to go drift size twenty flies for twenty-plus inch fish.  The write-up for each tailwater includes flies, rigs, maps, and shops and is authored by a local area guide or angler.  There's even a little write-up describing each author which I thought was great.  The imagery, including the maps, is consistently top notch and the write-ups vary quite a bit which is to be expected.  Most of the tailwaters are in the United States but there are a few canadian tailwaters mentioned as well.

What This Book Is Not:
This book is probably not going to be the sole resource you turn to for any of the waters mentioned in the book.  I think a lot of fly fishing books make the mistake of trying to cover too broad of a subject and I wonder if this book would have benefited from narrowing down the subject a bit (like maybe "50 best tailwaters in the Western US"). That said, this book is a great starting point to understand most of what is required to fish each tailwater mentioned.  From there one could contact the shops mentioned in the book for the rest.

Who Should Buy This Book:
This book is one hell of a stocking stuffer.  Stock this one on your coffee table, cabin, or home library. maybe keep one at work.  This is a book you can snack on one tailwater at a time anytime you need to stoke your urge to trout fish.  It will also give you a good understanding of the tailwater scene here in the US if you want to read through it in a less piecemeal way.

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Rachel Matteson said...
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