Reviewed by Ron Eagle Elk (REE), WA
Since I don't fish Oregon much, I've never spent the
money to get a copy of Frank Amato Publication's
Oregon River Maps and Fishing Guide, and
have only read the review here on FAOL. Soon after I
read the review I started wondering why no one has
published a reference work like this for Washington.
Well, someone has. Frank Amato Publications followed
up their success with another winner.
While Washington River Maps and Fishing Guide
doesn't cover all of Washington's fine rivers, it does an
excellent job of detailing information about the major fishing
rivers in our fair state.
This is not just a book of maps, but is chock full of useful
information for anglers of all experience levels. The color
plates of Washington's sport fishes and aquatic insects are
second to none, followed closely by the very nice color photos
of flies useful on our rivers. The section on knots and fly
fishing techniques is an excellent Fly Fishing 101 course.
While there is no substitute for getting out on a river and
doing some exploring on your own, Washington River Maps
and Fishing Guide will cut your learning time considerably.
Combine the clear, very readable, maps with the hatch charts
and suggested fishing months for each species of fish and your
well on your way to a successful foray onto Washington's rivers.
One of my favorites of Washington's rivers is the Cowlitz,
located about one hour south of my home. (The map above is not
actual size.) This beautiful river
offers winter and summer steelhead runs, spring and fall
Chinook Salmon runs, resident cutthroat trout and the
wonderful Sea Run Cutthroat trout. With a quick glance
at the charts on page 32, I can learn that the month of
February will be good, not best or slow, for winter steelhead
using a wet fly swung deep, lightly weighted nymphs, nymphs
under an indicator or a deep drifted fly. I also know that
the wading can be difficult, there are shuttles to get me
back to my car, if I launch my pontoon boat it can be a
difficult river and the water clarity recovers fast. If
your fishing any Pacific Northwest rivers, finding out
how quickly the water clears after a month of heavy rain
or snow melt is extremely important. Getting that information
probably took me three seconds.
Though I really enjoy Washington River Maps and Fishing
Guide and think it should be a part of your Washington
fishing library, there are some things I miss. After 23 years
in the Army I can look at a topographical map and tell a lot
about a river by the surrounding contour lines (those brown
lines that tell you the elevation). Having that feature would
have been nice, but when a large river is featured on one page,
including contour lines would have only cluttered up a clear,
Washington River Maps and Fishing Guide won't tell
you what size and type fly to tie on your tippet, or what rock
to stand on, but it will get you headed in the right direction
and save many hours of bushwhacking to find that certain spot
on Washington's rivers.
One small bit of useful information. I've stopped into a couple
of local fly shops and they can't keep this book on the shelves.
I suggest you have your fly shop hold a copy for you or order
direct from Frank Amato Publications. ~ REE
Washington River Maps and Fishing GuidePrevious Reviews
By Frank Amato Publications
P.O. Box 82112
Portland, OR 97282
Softbound, 11 x 15 inches, 48 pages, full color
Price: $25.00 US