Just finished reading the Chasing Wild Trout!: A Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing Small Streams eBook by Ben Smith of the Arizona Wanderings blog (azwanderings.com). And the quick of it is this – Ben has created a nice primer for the beginning fly angler. Is this book for everyone? No it is not – but that is not the intention. Chasing Wild Trout is just what it says it is. It is a beginner’s guide to fly fishing small streams.
Personally, I think that this approach is a great way to go. It can be easy to go overboard with an introductory book on fly fishing. There are so many types of water fished and types of fish targeted by fly fishers, that as a result the techniques and gear are seemingly unlimited. To the beginner it can be overwhelming. Rather than a scatter shot approach that attempts to cover it all, Ben Smith has taken a very focused approach. He has decided to tackle the subject of small stream trout fly fishing.
I think that he has succeeded. I don’t mean to imply that this fairly slim volume (slim if it were an actual book, instead of an eBook), encompasses the fullness of small stream fly angling – of course it doesn’t. What it does though is get the beginning angler on the right path to a past time that can take a lifetime to master. The way that Mr. Smith does this is to take a simple, even humble approach. Rather than “expertising” on the subject and claiming that his way is the only way – Smith presents the information in a more relaxed way. It is akin to a friend taking you under their wing and saying “There are a million ways to do this thing – rather than show you all of them I’m going to show you my way. Is it the only way? No. But it is a way that works for me.”
In a fly angling world filled with a seemingly endless variety of gear, fly shops full of gadgets, bins full of flies, magazines (and websites) filled with how-to articles it can be hard to see an easy path. The beginner can suffer paralysis by analysis. Especially if they don’t have a friend or mentor to show them the way. And that is where this ebook comes in. The rank beginner can pick it up, read it, apply the simple message and get off on the good foot toward being a successful angler. It won’t tell you everything there is to know – but it will give you a good system for fishing small streams for trout.
Here’s a peek at the Table of Contents:
Section 1: Where to Begin (Fly Rod, Reel, Line)
Section2: Other Gear
Section 3: Small Stream Flies
Section 4: How to Fish a Small Stream
Section 5: Stream Etiquette
Section 6: Casting and Knots
Section 7: Resources
Section 8: Printable Checklist
Disclaimer: I requested and received a review file of this ebook. I was in no way compensated for this review.