Anglers guide to guides for Anglers

I especially like reading a good book about fishing.

When winter comes and I find myself huddled up within the confines of my warm, well insulated home (due to my overwhelming aversion to winter and everything that it entails), I like to spend long, quiet evenings on the couch, reading everything from science fiction, to murder mysteries, to westerns.

I especially like reading a good book about fishing.

Two fishing books that I could recommend right off the top would be Brian Smith’s Fly Fishing BC’s Interior: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to the Central Interior and Northern Cariboo Waters and Season of a Fly Fisher: Fly Fishing Canada’s Western Waters. Fly Fishing BC’s Interior is the definitive guide to fishing the lakes and streams of the Central Interior. Smith writes about casting for wild rainbow trout in the fabled Blackwater, Stellako and Crooked rivers, and the still waters of the Dragon, Hobson, Hart and Wicheeda – all renowned trophy lakes and streams. In his book, Smith also shares many of his award-winning fly-tying patterns, as well as his extensive knowledge of the species, geography, history and fishing lore of the Central Interior and North Cariboo waters. In Seasons of a Fly Fisher, Smith takes the reader on a journey to the Pacific Northwest to experience the thrill of fishing for salmon and cutthroat trout. Both of Smith’s books simplify and demystify many of the challenges of sport fishing in these beautiful and rugged areas of the province.

The Essential Guide to Fly Fishing British Columbia, co-authored by seven noted angling experts and veteran outdoor writers, is perhaps the most comprehensive, accurate and well-written guide ever about fishing in the province. It reveals where and when to go, how to select a winning destination and which patterns are consistently most productive. From remote wilderness settings to destinations suitable for comfortable family vacations, The Essential Guide to Fly Fishing British Columbia offers insider advice for anyone who’s ever yearned to cast a fly.

What The River Knows, by Wayne Fields, winds its way through the northern wilderness, all the while exploring one man’s journey through middle age. The book tells of summer days spent fishing the runs and riffles of fast-flowing streams, as well as some of what the flow of life brings our way. It is a celebration of nature in all its glory, and one man’s attempt to comprehend all the delights, triumphs and anguish that have marked his journey through life so far. It’s the sort of book that a guy like me can relate to.

Roderick Haig-Brown has always been one of my favourite angling authors. He was a fly fisherman, a magistrate, radio broadcaster, university chancellor and conservationist who lived in Campbell River. He was also a prolific writer. The Seasons of a Fisherman is a collection of his four classic “seasons” books: Fisherman’s Spring (1951), Fisherman’s Winter (1954), Fisherman’s Summer (1959) and Fisherman’s Fall (1964) all compiled together in one single volume. This book is far more than just a book about fishing and the trappings and traditions that go along with the sport of fly-fishing. Each page draws the reader back to a simpler time – to an era when fishing was not so high-tech and time spent casting a line was, well more about communing with nature and breathing in the peace and tranquility that comes with standing on the banks of a river.

B.C. writer, angling historian and steelheader, Art Lingren, whom I have met, wrote a book some years back about Haig-Brown. He not only signed my copy, he returned it to me with all nine of Haig-Brown’s fly patterns (tied by Lingren) adorning the pages where he talks about each pattern. Pretty cool.

Many an evening have I lived vicariously through the pages of each of these books, and like I said, what better way could there be than to spend the long, cold, dreary, miserable days of winter.


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