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.

May 24th, 1999

By Jack Samson
Frank Amato Publications, Inc.
P.O. Box 82112, Portland Oregon 97282 Phone: 503-653-8108,
email Frank Amato Publications

Every fly fisherman has heard of Lee Wulff and of course the Wulff series of flies. And even if you had the opportunity to meet him and carry on a conversation or two, I doubt you would really know him. Much less have the depth of information in the Lee Wulff book.

What a live he led. Obviously a passionate man, with a fine mind, trained as an engineer, he not only fished everywhere for everything he could, but worked to improve many of the aspects of fly fishing as well. Besides the flies, he invented what is now the Orvis Battenkill reel. He designed the triangle taper line, which for those who need to roll cast, is a dream. His only failure it seems was a mold injected fly body. But the concept is interesting.

More than anything else, Lee Wulff will be remembered for his love for Atlantic Salmon. The fight to preserve Atlantic Salmon spanned his first exposure to them in the 1930's to see world-wide recognition of their importance before his death in 1991.

A pioneer in aviation as well, Lee explored great reaches of Labrador, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia alone in a tiny, single engine aircraft, in search of places to fish Atlantic Salmon. He set up the first fishing camps for Atlantics, wrote his own scripts for outdoor films, worked for most of the major companies of the time, and found time to write for many publications - as well as authoring a few books. And founding the Federation of Fly Fishers.

Author Jack Samson's approach to this book is to base it on a time line. Here is what was happening in the world at the same given time Lee did this or that. It keeps things in perspective, and also allows the reader to connect with the story as a whole. Nicely done!

I have a personal sadness about the book. As famous as Lee Wulff was, and recognised as an authority on Atlantic Salmon, the battle for the survival of the salmon took an incredibly long time. Lee Wulff was the man who said, "A gamefish is too valuable to only catch once." A promoter of Catch and Release when many areas had no lack of fish. The handwriting was on the wall for Lee. It has taken the rest of the world much too long to see it. Unfortunately, he never took up the cause of the Pacific Salmon!

Do read Lee WULFF you will have a new appreciation of this man's willingness to stand up for what he thought was right. Besides that, he had some fantastic adventures. They are in there too. ~ DLB

Lee WULFF is hardbound, 238 pages. The price is $34.95 (U.S.), ISBN: 1-57188-019-4. It is available through Royal Wulff, 3 Main St., P.O. Box 948, Livington Manor, NY 12758, (800)-328-3638. ~ DB

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