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.
FLY FISHING YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
The author, Nate Schweber, is a freelance reporter formerly from Missoula, Montana, and currently he residing in Brooklyn, New York. His book, Fly fishing Yellowstone National Park is a compilation of short stories about 50 places to fly fish in the world's first National Park. Some of the contributors are well-known; Tom McGuane, Bob Jacklin, Craig Matthews, former President Jimmy Carter, and former Vice President Dick Cheney, to name just a few. Each of the contributors was interviewed by the author and spoke about their experience on a particular piece of water in Yellowstone, something like "Joe and I went fishing." Each chapter features one or more of the recollections of the various contributors about a particular place in the Park. These stories comprise the bulk of the book.
After a brief introduction by the author there is a short chapter entitled Before You Go, which gives some general information about flies, hatches, and other general information. The following chapters are devoted to the 50 places to fly fish in the Park. Each chapter has a section at the beginning of the chapter that describes the type of trout in that particular body of water, common insects, fly pattern suggestions, best time to fish that water, and directions on finding that specific location. The descriptions are very general and the author recommends that the visiting angler check with local fly shops for detailed hatch and fly selection details.
Interspersed between the chapters on specific places to fish are chapters that contain some of the history of fish and fishing in Yellowstone. The author shares some of the concerns surrounding the discovery of Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake and the impacts on the Yellowstone Cutthroat populations in the lake and upper Yellowstone drainage.
I found the chapter that covered the Nez Perce Creek especially interesting, but not from a fly fishing standpoint. The contributors, Sallysue C. Hawkins and Otis Halfmoon both had relatives that were involved in the famous Nez Perce trek though Yellowstone in 1877 while pursued by the U.S. Army. Hawkins great-grandparents were taken hostage by the Nez Perce and her great-grandfather was shot three times during the affair. One of the Nez Perce warriors, Five Wounds, was Otis Halfmoon's paternal great-grandfather, and he was killed by General Gibbon at the Battle of the Big Hole. His maternal great-great-grandfather and great-grandmother survived the Big Hole battle and were among the small group of Nez Perce that escaped to Canada. It is an interesting account of a historical event from Yellowstone's past.
Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park is another book in a long list of books covering the same subject. The stories contributed by the various anglers make for interesting reading, but generally offer little practical fly fishing information. What this book does provide is a sense adventure that a visit to Yellowstone National Park can provide. Encounters with wild buffalo, grizzly bears, moose, wolves and even aggressive elk is the stuff that memories are made of, and what better place to make them than the somewhat mythical place called Yellowstone National Park.
Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park is a good read; it contains some interesting historical facts, and provides a basis for further research.
Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park – An Insider's Guide to the 50 Best Places
Author: Nate Schweber
Softcover, 282 pages, Color and Black & White Illustrations, Copyright 2012
Stackpole Books, $19.95