It's often noted how one of the great things about fishing is there is no true "season" to it. It's possible to fish and catch a number of different species 12 months a year! That all sounds great until it's snowing and twenty degrees and the thought of a warm fire and hot coffee seems more appealing than a trout stream.
It's during this stretch of the year where we catch up on other fishing chores: stock up the fly box, clean fly lines, plan trips for warmer weather, and the list goes on. This is also when we can kick back and unwind with some reading without fear that we are missing the most incredible bug hatch of the year with 20-inch trout attacking anything that hits the water. One of the great ways to pass the day and still get a fishing "fix" is to dive into the literary depths of fly fishing and be immersed in conservation topics of faraway adventures. Here are three favorites that every fly angler should have at the ready!
Still Life with Brook Trout
Everyone in the fly fishing world knows of John Gierach and his uncanny way of putting the fly fishing experience into words. Nowhere is that more apparent than in his work Still Life with Brook Trout. From Wyoming to Maine to Oregon, John takes readers on his adventures in pursuit of his finned quarry in a matter-of-fact way that can resonate even with the most novice of anglers. There's knowledge to be learned, laughs to be had, and self realization to be discovered in the pages of this book that you'll find hard to put down.
This book hits particularly close to home for anglers in the East. There is something so unique about the Appalachian Mountains and the brook trout that reside there. The fish aren't the biggest by any means, but this is their native range and the resilience they had to survive the salvos of human industry is amazing. David O'Hara and Matthew Dickerson wade through not only the fishing itself, but the issues facing the waters that our native brook trout call home as they travel throughout the Appalachians.
Catch and Release
With chapters titled "Fishing is Stupid" and "Golf is also Stupid" it's easy to understand how this selection by Mark Kingwell can resonate with many. Who hasn't had moments where they swear golf would be easier than catching these cantankerous fish, only to go golfing and immediately wish to be back on a trout stream? Catch and Release navigate through topics of boredom, patience, and killing trout through the lens of one fishing trip. Therein lies one of the book's greatest qualities! A fishing trip is so much more than just the fishing itself. Our minds wander to and from topics in the past, present, and future and reading this will remind anglers of this.