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.
The Art of the Creel
By Hugh Chatham and Dan McClain
Published by Blue Heron Publications,
P.O. Box 1309, Ennis Montana 59729
email Blue Heron.
I turned the corner of the aisle at the
recent Salt Lake Retail fly fishing Show and stared into the
face of a blue heron! The lovely carving was standing on
top of a stack of books! Also displayed on stacks of
books were several wonderful antique creels. That caught
my attention, and probably the attention of a lot of
buyers at the show as well. I certainly hope so, because
this is an absolutely delightful book.
The color photographs, most taken in
outdoor setting on the Madison River are dazzeling. Each
style of creel with it's history is shown in an nicely
organized fashion. Nothing stuffy here, just great information
about where and when and how. Over 200 creels are shown.
The authors, neither having done a book
previously, hit upon a winner the first try. I have already
spent several hours going through The Art of the
Creel, and expect to spend many more. It is
The differences in how creels are designed,
some with multiple layers, (one for fish another for lunch
or flies - or even a worm keeper in others)is facinating.
As are the differences in how different materials are used
in the creels, from split cane to whole willow to
aircraft aluminum and more. It was also very neat to
learn fine creels are still being made. Those are also
Leather used in practical and decorative
ways adds interest to creels, as well as providing extra space
for the angler in the form of storage pockets. The designs
used by the various craftsmen in the leatherwork has helped
identify the age and place where the creels were made.
The authors comment that in a age where
catch and release is so prevalent the creel doesn't have the
utilitarian value it once had. Instead creels are being
recognized for its folk art appeal and the fine workmanship.
Of course, creels are popular decoration for any fly
If you are a collector of fishing stuff,
this is a must have. If you just like to learn more about
the history of fly fishing, you should have it. If you
are looking for a wonderful "thank you" gift for someone
who is a fly angler - here is the perfect solution. Don't
forget, Christmas is just around the corner. ~ DB
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