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.

June 7th, 1999

Wisdom of the Guides
By Paul Arnold
Frank Amato Publications, Inc.
P.O. Box 82112, Portland Oregon 97282 Phone: 503-653-8108,
email Frank Amato Publications

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.), ISBN: 1-57188-128-X.

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