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, and due to that fact, may not appear weekly.

February 6th, 2006

The Offbest Angler,
Fish Tales & Muddy Adventures
By Christopher Arelt and Sebastian O'Kelly

Reviewed by Deanna Birkholm

The Offbeat Angler
Well, it isn't your dad's fly fishing book. Or uncles either.

But I will gladly recommend it for your reading. Here's two guys, old friends who have made the decision not to fish where the crowds are, or where the fishing might be easy or even predictable.

It isn't that they haven't fished for trout in all the right places, (well at least some of them) it's that they can't get there from where they are. The co-authors, Christopher Arelt and Sebastian O'Kelly are east coast guys with a desire to catch what they can, where they can. Sometimes the 'getting there' is half the story. Sometimes it's catching 'things' which most respectable fly fishermen wouldn't even consider. On the other hand it lets them maintain what they have left of their sanity. Reading it might help you maintain yours as well.

Be that as it may, the book is well written, illustrated with crude sketches which strangely, get the point across. Offbeat applies here.

They take a few road trips, get scratched and bruised for their efforts, and even manage to catch tarpon in non-recommended places. There is one 'story' which just has to be fiction. You'll find it.

Quoting from the 'sell-sheet:'

"Something fishy is going on, and these two will stop at nothing to cast their flies in big city ponds, polluted canals, highway ditches, nuclear power plant outflows, and other spots where man and beast dare not tread. No technique is off-limits, no species too unusual, as they do battle with carp, shad, bowfin, tarpon and exotic rejects from the local aquarium. Besides some astounding catches, you'll bear witness to a boatload of antics and miscues, meet a host of colorful characters, and wince at an ample creelful of bad fishing puns."

If cabin fever, or the more serious form, the shack nasties, have you in their grip, get The Offbeat Angler. It will help.

The Offbeat Angler
By Christopher Arelt and Sebastian O'Kelly,
Published by the Flat Hammock Press
5 Church Street
Mystic, Connecticut, 06355
Dimensions: 6.25" X 9.25"
Hardcover, 160 pages
110 sketch drawings
ISBN: 0-9718303-5-5
Price: $18.85

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