An advanced examination of basic things
I have been fly fishing for about 30 years, and have read stacks of book about it - from how-to manuals to revelations of the alleged new secret magic bullet game-changer technique to adventure stories. This book is a little of all these, but better. The how-to part is directed at a person who already knows which end of the rod to hold, what a trou... Read Moret is, what the equipment is called. It then offers further instruction and information about trout and fishing in general, and I admit that it contains more than a few things that I hadn't picked up elsewhere in my 30 years. I have actually leaned some new things to try. The "new game-changer technique" part is a sermon on the tenkara religion/fetish, and why it is better than regular flyfishing. I personally don't agree that fishing with a tenkara rod is better than using a regular rod and reel, but I do agree that tenkara techniques, as opposed to tenkara gear, can be game-changers in some circumstances. The idea behind tenkara, which is a focus on precise presentation of a suitable fly to nearby trout as opposed to meticulous hatch-matching and long casts, definitely falls into the category of revolutionary. This book does a great job of showing how it is done. The authors and I can continue to disagree as to whether you have to use a silly 15 foot rod to do it; maybe I would think differently if I fished in the Rockies instead of under the tree canopy of the Appalachians. The adventure story part of it is something I haven't made up my mind about. Much of the book consists of essays by the three authors, and make it clear that the authors are pretty far removed from your regular fishermen. Some of the stories are great, but others boil down to, "I saw these dumbasses who couldn't fish, and so I used my superior knowledge to set them straight." I must admit that it grates on me a bit to hear wealthy or at least well-placed guys who can and do fish scores of days a year all over the globe in places full of big trout tell me how simple it all is. The famous third baseman Brooks Robinson, who was probably the greatest fielder the game has ever known, once explained his near-magical performance by saying, "When the batter hits the ball, I just go over and pick it up." He was being self-deprecating, I guess - telling us that even he doesn't know how he does it. It might have been different if he had written a book purporting to tell everyone else what they are doing wrong. Then again, no one wants to read fishing stories that don't talk about exciting and exceptional fishing. Maybe I'm just jealous. All in all, this book is informative, entertaining, and unique. It tells you stuff that other books don't, and is clear in doing so, which is something that can't be said for the vast majority of fishing books. You probably ought to read it.
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