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.


Reviewed By Neil M Travis- April, 2015

Complete Guide to Fresh and Saltwater Fishing
Author: Vin T. Sparano

Like any book that seeks to cover a topic as broad and as varied at fishing it contains a great deal of general information and a reader that is seeking a more detailed account will need to look elsewhere. That being said, there is much in this book that is of value and should earn it a spot on the shelf of even an advanced angler.

The author and compiler of this compendium served as the editor-in-chief of Outdoor Life magazine from 1990 to 1995 and previously as executive editor for more than 10 years. He authored several other outdoor books and was placed in the Freshwater Hall of Fame in 2013.

For anyone interested in specifically fly fishing most of the material is very basic. There are nine pages reserved for a quick tour of fly fishing tackle. I did not find the pictures that were intended to demonstrate how to fly cast very helpful even though they were provided by the Wulff School of Fly Fishing. There are sixteen pages that describe fly tying and the diagrams that are used will be useful only to beginners. The eleven pages devoted to knots used for fishing contains material that is most relevant to all fly anglers. The illustrations are well done and easy to follow. All the essential knots that any fly angler needs to know are contained in this section.

There is a large section that is dedicated to describing fresh and saltwater gamefish. There is a short description of the fish, where they are found, size, food and basic fishing methods. Most of the fish are illustrated with excellent color illustrations.

This book contains a wealth of material on all aspects of angling from catching fish to cleaning and cooking your catch. There is a section on first aid for fishermen and boats and boating.

As I reviewed this book it reminded me of several other similar books that I have in my angling library like McClane's New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia and International Angling Guide that was first published in 1965. I think I purchased my copy from the Outdoor Life Book Club and back when I purchased it I poured over the various topics that it contained. This was long before computers, the Internet, and smart phones. Today all of the information contained in these types of books is readily available with a few key strokes making editions like this of interest only to those of us that still treasure the written word that is contained in a book.

Complete Guide to Fresh and Saltwater Fishing
Author: Vin T. Sparano
368 Pages, 600 photographs, 7 5/16 inches by 9 inches
University Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7893-2925-7
Trade Paper, $29.95


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