This is an odd book. I consider myself a reader,
and always interested in furthering my knowledge of fly fishing.
Yet I struggled to finish Wisdom of the Guides.
If you are considering fishing the Rocky Mountain
west, you should struggle through it too. There is a ton of information
on fishing named streams. More than just recommended flies, the
specific techniques are there as well.
The book is written in interview style. Author Paul Arnold tape
recorded conversations with some of the best known Rocky Mountain
guides, and presents them in chapter form. Included are Gary LeFontaine, Craig
Mathews, Johnny Gomez, Thomas J. Knopick and John W. Flick,
Jennifer Olsson, Larry Tullis, Mike Lawson, Charlie Gilman, Al
Troth, and Paul Roos. The regions covered range from one end of Montana
to the other, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah.
Pretty much the same questions were asked of all the guides, with
a wide range in answers. However, the desire for preserving the
fishery was paramount in all the responces. Favorite flies were
another interesting question. All the guides commented how pleased
they were to guide people new to fly fishing - at least if they were
willing to learn.
I don't read to get angry. Usually I read to learn, or
sometimes just to be entertained. I did get angry at a couple of the
guides for what I consider to be misinformation. Jennifer Olsson's
insistance that everyone automatically overline a rod so it will cast
a short line better really twisted my twig. I don't know who Mrs.
Olsson designed rods for, obviously they didn't make it. She
should know better, and the fact that she doesn't, in my mind does
not make her the first name I would suggest for a Montana guide.
I was a licensed Montana guide, (in fact the first female one)
and perhaps I am a little tougher on other guides than you might be, but I
felt a certain arrogance in some of the guides that didn't sit
well. To be honest, maybe that's the way things are now.
Widom of the Guides is interesting, there is some really
good information in it. There is even some occassional humor.
Fishing that country? Get it. ~ DLB
Wisdom of the Guides
is hardbound, 150 pages. The price is $24.95 (U.S.),