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.

September 28th,1998

Fly Fishing the Mountain Lakes
By Gary LaFontaine
Published by Greycliff Publishing Company
P.O. Box 1273, Helena Montana 59729 Phone: 406-443-1888 email Greycliff Publishing.

Fly Fishing the Mountain Lakes

Gary LaFontaine is well known for his wonderful book Caddisflies, as well as Challenge of the Trout, The Dry Fly: New Angles, and Trout Flies: Proven Patterns.

He is perhaps less known for what must be his true passion - fly fishing mountain lakes seldom visited by man - or even the local mountain goat.

Just released, Fly Fishing the Mountain Lakes is the first in a series, that Gary is calling the Summer of Discovery Series. Quoting from the book, "Each summer season for me is a chance to learn and a chance to have fun. One without the other would make it a wasted summer. The books in this series are about the very good summers of my fly fishing life."

This book is laid out in alternate chapters - the even-numbered chapters are the how-tos, and the odd (Hmmmm) numbered ones are about the fun of fishing the lakes. The fun parts really are! Check out an excerpt in this weeks Lightside. I'm not going to mention at all his preference to a short pack animal - a goat! You need to read that for yourself.

Of particular interest were the chapters on techniques and the gear Gary uses in various lake fishing situations. He really has doped it out so he rarely gets skunked. In some cases it requires packing in two rods, and nine different lines. The specific use for each line is detailed.

Gary says the how-to parts of the book are based on the premise that "a fly fisherman can't be a good mountain lake anglers without being an all-around stillwater fanatic." And a backpacker. To that purpose, he includes a section on getting in shape - and the standards for "in shape" at various ages. (For both men and women.)

The period in early spring, called "ice-out" is full of opportunity for the fly anglers. Gary and his friends experiences chasing the ellusive possiblilities for hitting this occurance provide a fascinating insight on how determined die hard, avid lake anglers can be.

Also included in Fly Fishing the Mountain Lakes is a super list of recommended books for anyone interested in fishing these remote lakes.

One more plus, Gary's list of the "Basic Twenty-Six Patterns For Stillwater Fly Fishing," You will have to buy the book to get the list - but it does include 11 dry flies, 3 emergers, 2 wet flies, 7 nymphs, 2 streamers, and 1 egg fly. And yes, the tying recipes are there.

I read Fly Fishing the Mountain Lakes last weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a easy to follow book, with technical stuff in plain terms. The mix with the humor is great, and does give your mind a break between the more techincal chapters. I highly recommend it! ~ DB

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