Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Favorite Fly Fishing Literature

MartinlfJuly 14th, 2009, 10:52 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Eric mentioned fly fishing novels in a recent post. I keep thinking about creating an interdisciplinary college course based on fly fishing literature and entomology so I'll ask, what are your favorite works of fiction--novels, poems, short stories, plays--that treat fly fishing.

Here are a few of mine:

The River Why by James Duncan (novel)

"Song of the Wandering Aengus" by William Butler Yeats (poem)

Eric, and others, what are yours?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
EricdJuly 15th, 2009, 6:25 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
I'm glad you started this. Martin, is it?
I'm not too much into poetry, I try, but I'll try Yeats; thanks.

I just, and I mean just, finished the series by John Galligan.

I just, and I mean three minutes ago, started my first Gierach book, Fool's Paradise. The first two pages are great.

I was reading The River Why waiting for my son to be born and finished it while he slept in my lap. There's sentiment. There's a film coming, FYI.

I think I liked The Snowfly more than most do. It was the first book that I wanted to read again immediately.

There's always a Hemingway book or collection in my bathroom or on my nightstand. Sorry for the visual, but I've read most Hemingway in the bathroom. Would he appreciate that?

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is good.

The Trout Whisperers passed the time in the off season.

Pale Morning Done is good.

That might be it...

RleePJuly 15th, 2009, 7:40 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
"The Snowfly" - Joseph Heywood.

Not necessarily totally about fly fishing, but the sport is woven all through this (IMO) top-notch novel that takes the reader from the UP to Vietnam to Moscow to a uranium mine in Canada to the Pere Marquette and back to the UP.
RleePJuly 15th, 2009, 7:43 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
Whoops, did somebody already mention the Heywood book on the other thread?

SofthackleJuly 16th, 2009, 7:47 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
There's a lot of literature, but not a lot is fiction. Some good books, just for reading are:

Trout Madness- Robert Traver
Trout Magic- Robert Traver
Fishless Days, Angling Nights- Sparse Gray Hackle (Alfred Miller)
The Trout Fisherman's Bedside Book- Raymond Macdougall
Remembrances of Rivers Past- Ernest Schwiebert

Not all fiction, but great reading.

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
MartinlfJuly 16th, 2009, 12:13 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
I'm hoping to try some of these soon, perhaps when the Tricos start to wane. Thanks, and if anyone else has favorites, keep them coming. The Snowfly sounds compelling.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
EricdJuly 16th, 2009, 2:14 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Also, if anyone more web-savvy than myself can find a list of novels online that deal with fly fishing could you let me know? There's a ton of resources for non-fiction, but not for fiction. Maybe this forum will become that resource...
EricdJuly 20th, 2009, 6:22 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
Chapter seven, Road Books, in Gierach's Fool's Paradise is a good one.
BGrnFlyfishJuly 30th, 2009, 2:32 pm

Posts: 37
Some books I enjoy reading are written by John Geirach...I have read Fool's Paradise/Sex,Death,& Fly Fishing/ I am currently reading At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman. I enjoy reading them when I am working during the week and can't be on the water!
Seth-Big Green River, WI
PatcrisciAugust 13th, 2009, 5:07 pm
Lagrangeville, NY

Posts: 119
Wow! This could be a series of courses beginning with the earliest writings by Dame Juliana Berners and Izak Waltaon, et al, right up to the contemporary practicioners of the art.

Mark, I favor Traver's Trout Magic and Sparse's Fishless Days, Angling Nights. I have a soft spot for Bergman's Trout and anything by Nick Lyons. TO me, Lyons' work transcends the world of fly fishing and is a larger metaphor for modern man and the way we live. Somehow, when I read a piece by Lyons, I am connected not just to the community of flyfishers, but to the community of mankind, and every being in the natural world... ah but I wax philosophical. I think this is a great idea for a college course.
Pat Crisci
MartinlfAugust 14th, 2009, 7:37 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
I'm very fond of Nick Lyons work also. I went to grad. school with his son Paul, and have a collection of his work that I'd use if I do create a course based on fly fishing literature. I appreciate the encouragement.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TeddypAugust 14th, 2009, 7:42 am
North Carolina

Posts: 18
Just starting reading sex, death, & leaky waders, a compilation of Geirach and I can't put it down. Funny and poignant, it's a great read and I'll definitely start picking up his others.
CaseyPAugust 14th, 2009, 9:21 am
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
if I do create a course based on fly fishing literature.

yo, Louis! when you do get your round "tuit", could you either tell us where to come to attend the class, or figure out with Jason how to put it on here? i've been waiting for this class for ages!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
PatcrisciAugust 16th, 2009, 8:12 am
Lagrangeville, NY

Posts: 119
Of course, there is a genre of sporting literature and within that genre, a sub-genre of flyfishing literature. It's interesting to note how certain authors have built traditions, shaped attitudes, philosophies, and tactics of flyfishing (and flytying too). These I would classify as didactic, or instructional works. Others, like Lyons, for one, while also educational, I beleive are more in the literary vein of essay, short story, or novel in which flyfishing figures, yet is not central to the story. As a sportsman, author, and lover of language and literature, I find this topic very interesting.
Pat Crisci
EricdSeptember 22nd, 2009, 5:20 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
While entering inane details during my 9-5 into an Excel spreadsheet today, I decided to just start one about fly fishing fiction that I called Trout Fiction. I've looked all over for this list of literature, or just novels or stories, pertaining to fly fishing for trout and failed. That list doesn't exist. I am only interested in fiction and it doesn't have to enirely revolve around trout, because that's why non-fiction exists, but it does have to deal with it in some way that is more than an abstract reference. Lists pertaining to the non-fiction genre are ubiquitous, but I wouldn't hesitate to sign up for a class on the topic. Once I get the list of the books that I know of, then I'll share it here and hopefully get some additions to it.
Anyone have any ideas on how to make such a list available in a more creative way than in a friggin' Excel spreadsheet, please let me know. I usually take the easy/practical way out regardless of how boring and sequential it is.
TaxonSeptember 22nd, 2009, 6:32 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but my belief is that everything which has ever been written about fly fishing is at least 50% fiction, except for this statement, of course.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
MartinlfSeptember 22nd, 2009, 6:53 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
50%? That's pretty generous, Roger.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
KonchuSeptember 22nd, 2009, 6:54 pm
Site Editor

Posts: 505
The Bait - by John Donne
it is a parody of Marlowe, but a darn good one that just happens to use references to fly fishing
EricdSeptember 22nd, 2009, 7:46 pm
Mpls, MN

Posts: 113
anyone know the ISBN for The Bait by John Donne?

TaxonSeptember 22nd, 2009, 8:39 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350

The Bait is a single poem, and the first one in:

Poems of John Donne
John Donne Hayes Barton Press ISBN: L-999-70257
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Learning to really appreciate LaFontaine
In General Discussion by Troutnut
6Nov 18, 2011
by Wiflyfisher
Mr Mathews Visits the Michigan Fly Fishing Club
In the Photography Board by Oldredbarn
Re: recommended books
In the True Fly Family Chironomidae by Goose
2Oct 25, 2006
by Sundula
Book Exchange at the Art of the Angler Show
In General Discussion by Flymom
1Oct 24, 2008
by Brookyman
Re: Top 10 Fly Fishing Books
In General Discussion by Crepuscular
11Feb 4, 2013
by Entoman
Hard water!
(4 more)

In the Photography Board by Jmd123
Re: The Necessities
In General Discussion by Spud
4May 21, 2007
by Troutnut
Re: cahills
In the Mayfly Genus Stenacron by LittleJ
8Dec 1, 2006
by Troutnut
Re: Fly-Fishing Literature
In General Discussion by Grannom
10Mar 14, 2008
by Softhackle
Re: Best Literature
In General Discussion by MarshallP
9Nov 16, 2014
by MarshallP
Most Recent Posts
Re: Are mayflies declining?
In General Discussion by Wiflyfisher (Adirman replied)