Fav Fishing reading

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Okay, let's talk COVID-lockdown fishing reading....

I know, we are all binge watching our screens, but seriously, our well-being is often enhanced by reading, and for me, that entails books with fishing, nature, and life experience themes.

What book etched an indelible mark in your grey matter? Old Man and the Sea? A River Runs Through It? Both great, but I was vastly inspired by David James Duncan's classic, The River Why. Has a bit of everything, including some skinny-dipping.

What's yours?

River Why.JPG

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'old man and the sea' for sure, but the main one, probably read it twenty times since i was a kid, is by norman caldwell called 'fangs of the sea'. 

true story of his life - as a kid in sydney around the turn of the previous century, he sees a shark caught on a pier. becomes infatuated with them. spends most of his life as a shark catcher way up on the great barrier reef.

there is a bit where he stays on a farm way up on cape york. he works as a farm hand. the head of the farm is often away and he helps out. there is a big croc snatching cattle. now if you think back to the 1920s, cape york would have been as wild and distant as anywhere on the planet. be a hell of a life up there then. hard. and the crocs could have easily been 150 years old or more! anyway, the wife of the farmer shot the croc. 

i have one copy with photos and one without. the one with pics has a photo of the woman sitting on the head of the croc. the caption says it is 16 foot long. i have shown it to a number of people and everyone who has seen it is convinced that the croc must be at least twenty-five, perhaps thirty, feet long. biggest croc i have ever seen. 

but the majority of the book is about him catching sharks on the reef. he had a small boat, not that much bigger than a large dinghy. and he'd head out by himself to catch the fish. would sell the jaws and skin. that was how he made his living. the stuff he saw back then was extraordinary. now it is all tourist boats etc. then, nothing. he'd have been the first man ever near some of the islands and reefs. the stuff he caught was amazing. 

love that book. 


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Actually Alf Davy's The Gilly. When it came out 1985 I thought then and still do that it was the best put together introduction for someone new to fly fishing for BC. 

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Anything by John Geirach. From Trout Bum to the latest due out in June. Humour, philosophy, tips and tricks and in 'Camp Coffee' the best description of how to brew by the campfire ever written. Lifelong fan.

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This is a classic that belongs in every fishing enthusiast's collection. Just a gorgeous comprehensive, if dated, reference book. I can't say enough about it. 


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  • 4 months later...

A Good Life Wasted: Or Twenty Years As A Fishing Guide set me off on the path when I was very young by showing me I didn’t have to follow the rat race, we won’t understand everything in life (& thank god) and that every billionaire that goes fly fishing wishes he could swap lives with the guide living for tips.  I also absolutely love The River Why & A River Runs Through It.  For easy reading, the Sean Stranahan mystery series (start with The Royal Wulff Murders) set in Montana centers around an avid fly fisherman & P.I. And is just decadently fun.  I know I’m responding super late, but I just found this & love the topic!

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