Selected reads for rainy days

Fall is upon us and that means the fishing should be getting pretty good.

Fall is upon us and that means the fishing should be getting pretty good.

Having said that, it will probably rain each and every day that I am able to get away, just like it did last year for the whole week that I was up at the lake. Should that happen, however, I will be prepared. I have selected a number of good books about fishing to take with me, just in case I don’t actually get a chance to cast a line myself.

Fly Fishing BC’s Interior: A Fly Fisher’s Guide to the Central Interior and North Cariboo is perhaps the definitive fly fisher’s guide to B.C.’s Central Interior. Freelance outdoor writer and photographer Brian Smith writes about the allure of B.C.’s wild rainbow trout that attracts fly fishers from all over the world. He describes in extraordinary detail the fabled Blackwater, Stellako and Crooked rivers, as well as the still waters of the Dragon, Hobson, Hart and Wicheeda, all renowned trophy lakes that produce rainbow trout weighing up to six kilograms. In this comprehensive guide, Smith shares his award-winning fly tying patterns, his favourite fly techniques and his extensive knowledge of the species, geography, history and fishing lore of the Central Interior and North Cariboo waters. The book is an all-inclusive guide for both novice and advanced anglers who want to explore  B.C.’s Interior Plateau.

The Gilly – A Flyfisher’s Guide, which came out back in 1985 was co-authored by 12 of the best angling authorities in the province and focuses mostly on fishing B.C.’s Interior lakes. It is probably the best all-round source of information there is on fishing both lakes and streams. As with a lot of fly fishing books, the first few chapters focus on the basics of fly fishing – basic gear and fly casting – as well as where on a lake to fish and what flies to use. Rods, reels, lines, leaders and knots are all also covered in detail, as well as lake ecology and entomology which are discussed in a straightforward manner and language that even a novice angler can understand. Subsequent chapters focus on specific food sources, insect life cycles, imitation fly patterns and fly pattern presentation.

Fly Fishing British Columbia, edited by Karl Brun, is another fishing anthology written by a who’s who of B.C. angling and outdoor writers. The book covers just about any question one might have when it comes to angling, and contains tons of intricately detailed drawings which depict exactly what happens when fish are feeding and moving about in their underwater environment. Other drawings feature more than 80 top-producing fly patterns, plus tying recipes and expert advice on how and where to fish them.

Roderick L. 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 marvellous 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 for the first time in one single volume.

While all these books are full of information about fishing and the trappings that go along with the sport of fly-fishing, they are, in large part, also about communing with nature and breathing in the peace and tranquility that comes with standing and casting a line on the banks of a river, or sitting out in a boat somewhere watching the world go by – which pretty well sums up my whole approach to fishing.

So, whether I’m on the water catching fish or relaxing by a warm fire, it won’t really matter, because, like I said, this year I’m prepared.