Individual taste in books varies as much as the favorite rod or fly. With that in mind, we hope to review books and videos from the ever-growing fly fishing world, and share them with you. Books will be the best of all worlds, new and old. Many of the old books are now available in reprint, and the wisdom contained is timely today. Others can be found in second-hand book stores, or by mail order dealers. As we find videos we feel are outstanding they will be included. Be assured, reviews are based on what we have actually read or viewed, and due to that fact, may not appear weekly.
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE TROUT STREAM
"40 years of Trout Fishing in Europe & North America"
The quote is part of the cover description of Dick Pobst's latest book, which really does cover his life as a fly angler – and much more. You have heard people tell stories of their lives which all add up to they were groomed to do a particular job. Or some tell you how they 'fell' into a situation they couldn't imagine (and for the most part we can't believe it either). Our fellow fly fisher was raised in a family of educators during the Depression and had first-hand experience working on Ohio farms during his youth. The early exposure probably was responsible for his life-long love for the outdoors.
After college Dick married Nancy his high-school sweetheart, and was drafted the same year. They spent two years at Fort Lewis, WA and when the truce had been reached in Korea they moved to Olympia, Washington. Dick went back to school and studied at the Thunderbird School of International Management taking business and language classes. That took them to Caterpillar and to Central America working with dealers on financial management and negotiating sales and financing arrangements with contractors. His wife gave Dick a spinning rod and reel which was used to fish the causeway at the entrance of the Panama Canal. Dick fished with a neighbor, but they didn't catch many fish except for the one time a year when the trade winds blew the warm surface water out to sea and colder water came up to the surface. They caught mackerel and Jack Crevalle and an occasional corvine. He began to think there might be some merit to fishing.
In 1963 Dick and family moved to Michigan where both of their parents lived. As Dick says, "We were basically freeloading while I hunted for a job, interviewing at all the big companies that were seeking people with my background." The move to Michigan "exposed me to fly fishing for trout and there I learned about Carl Richards and his epic book, Selective Trout, which was to become the greatest influence on my fishing. I called Carl and went to his home near Grand Rapids sometime in the early 1970s. This was the beginning of a long friendship in which he taught me about the importance of fly hatches to trout fishing."
Dick pursued fishing as a hobby while continuing to work in the international business scene. When he started trout fishing he was "exasperated" by the constant snagging of his flies, and hit upon a way to make flies snagless – which he patented and marketed. This led to his writing magazine articles about the flies, and eventually to writing fly-fishing books.
By 1975 Dick's corporate life convinced him he needed to take a break. He and wife had discussed the possibility of opening a fly shop and it seemed the time was right. Dick turned down an offer for another overseas assignment and the die was cast. They opened the Thornapple Orvis Shop in Grand Rapids. There is a large section of the book devoted to the how and why – but it became a very successful shop. In fact, it was so successful that Orvis hired them to help the owners of Orvis shops everywhere make their shops more successful.
Over the years Dick and Nancy met and spent time with some of the great names in fly fishing, and you will enjoy their stories of the adventures with the people as well as the trips they took. Over all it is a really good read. Even though the trip they took was not at all what they may have intended, the journey was a terrific ride.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Dick at various shows over the years, and I was delighted to read the real story. I think you will too. ~ LadyFisher
A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Trout Stream
Author: Dick Pobst
Published by Thornapple Angling Classics
P.O. Box 133, Ada, Mich. 49301
$18.00 Softcover, 214 pages