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.

December 14th,1998

The Dry Fly and Fast Water
By G.L.M La Branche
Published by Greycliff Publishing Company
P.O. Box 1273, Helena, Montana 59624
Phone: 1-800-874-4171

Here is a tip of the hat to the folks at Greycliff Publishing. From time to time I have mentioned how valuable the "old" books are. And even said, "maybe there isn't anything new." Unfortunately, those old books are few in numbers and not cheap if you do find them.

So the tip of the hat is for the publication of The Dry Fly and Fast Water. The usual term would be re-publication - but in this case, Greycliff has chosen to add some really thoughtful features.

For those who have been following the 'just old flies' section here, this week's fly is taken from this book! The fly is one described in the older version, but in the new version, there are photographs of the flies, tied by David Ledlie. What a delightful improvement. But that's not all. Le Branche also is well known for introducing fishing techiniques. It's one thing to read about them, another entirely to see them! The new book is liberally illustrated, with both drawings and photographs.

Our old copy The photos are a treasure. Seeing La Branche fishing his favorite water, seeing Hewitt, Skues and Theordore Gordon in the proper frame of reference with their peers, is very enlightening.

Another addition to the orginal book, is a 3,000 word introduction by Paul Schullery, explaining La Branches importance in the developement of fly fishing. La Branche was indeed a man ahead of his time. His ideas on reading the water and presentation (explaining such techniques as the bounce cast, line control, and creating the hatch) and his descriptions of rise forms and how to read them are as relevant today as they were some eighty years ago when it was first written!

There is something else that especially struck me. Something that is again, not in the original book. There is the correspondence between G.E.M. Skues and La Branche between 1925 and 1947. I found it particulary facinating as a commentary on others in fly fishing, the condition of waters they both fished, rods and equipment of the times - and the flies! Marvelous stuff!

The Dry Fly and Fast Water $24.95. The ISBN number is 0-9626663-6-X.

My only complaint is I wish it were hard cover as is the old copy we have. (Which by the way, shows a retail price on the dust cover of $6.95 in 1972). I realize the price of books has gotten very pricey, but I still believe books are a wonderful investment and addition to our lives. ~ DB

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