Driftless Trout Anglers

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Jumpsuit  
#1 Posted : Thursday, July 21, 2016 5:57:03 PM(UTC)
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What would be your guy's short list for books to read and also have on hand for a beginner fly fisher in the driftless? I already have Gene Hughes book and have been reading through Riverweather, Fly fishing & Iowa's driftless Region as well as Flies that Catch Trout by Mueller. Thanks for any suggestions.

Logan

Edited by user Thursday, July 21, 2016 5:57:49 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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NBrevitz  
#2 Posted : Thursday, July 21, 2016 6:44:04 PM(UTC)
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Delorme Atlas and the Humphrey/Schrogen book.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Thursday, July 21, 2016 6:46:40 PM(UTC)
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When I first got started with fly fishing in the DA, this book helped a lot.

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-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
Zugbug  
#4 Posted : Friday, July 22, 2016 6:59:15 AM(UTC)
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Another valuable reference book:

"Map Guide to Improved Trout Waters of Wisconsin - Expanded Second Edition".

These detailed maps include access points and easements.
MNTrout68  
#5 Posted : Friday, July 22, 2016 9:04:09 AM(UTC)
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And for after you're finished on the water:

The Longest Silence, by Thomas McGuane
A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, by Norman Maclean

TreArrow  
#6 Posted : Friday, July 22, 2016 12:42:51 PM(UTC)
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All of the above are great, I'd also recommend Flyfisher's Guide to WI and Iowa https://www.amazon.com/F...onsin-Iowa/dp/1932098364
posaunefisch  
#7 Posted : Friday, July 22, 2016 4:22:42 PM(UTC)
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Run to your local used book stores. I've found a few random books whose titles include words like: basic, trout, beginner, fly fishing. Spent less than $10. They've been a pretty good reference considering the price. I even found the WI improved waters guide for dirt cheap used.
"I can tell by the smell in the air I'm going trout fishing tomorrow " MacQuarrie
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West Branch  
#8 Posted : Saturday, July 23, 2016 2:34:09 PM(UTC)
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Someone said that more words have been written about trout fishing than any other topic. That would be hard to verify, but there is a long tradition of trout fishing literature that covers everything from the philosophical to fine points of the smallest bits of hardware. Often, the author of one book will cite older works that can lead to the discovery of 150 year old writings that are as pertinent today as they were in the 19th Century. Here are some books that cover a good bit of territory and will lead you to more information than you could ever read.

First off, find a copy of "Selective Trout" by Swisher and Richards. This has become the standard reference for hatch matching anglers, and delves into fly design and presentation in minute detail. You might want to read this with a slightly skeptical attitude. Fly fishing as described in this book is, without a doubt, a very effective approach. I have yet to be convinced it is the last word in fly fishing, but this is a valuable resource.

"What Trout Want" by Bob Wyatt gives another view of fly design and presentation that often runs counter to the ideas in "Selective Trout." Wyatt is very well read on the topic of trout fishing and refers to the works of many other writers. He frequently make reference to "What the Trout Said" by Datus Proper, which I highly recommend. None of the above volumes are exactly in the "Fly Fishing for Dummies" category, but I know you're already catching nice trout. These books will give you a leg up on catching more trout and give you insight gleaned from decades of combined experience.

John Gierach is well known for witty stories about his life of trout fishing. He also has a book or two with a good bit of practical information. "Fly Fishing Small Streams" is a very worthwhile little book that gives advice on finding fish in out-of-the-way places and what to carry with you so you can catch those fish. Gierach has a good chapter on tackle selection and goes into some detail about stocking a good small stream fly box. Even though he mostly fishes small mountain streams, most of the lore presented here can apply to spring creeks, too. This is a good book to help an angler get off on the right foot in fly fishing.

"Exploring Wisconsin Trout Streams" by Steve Born, Jeff Mayers and some others is a book everyone here should read. My copy is on loan to a friend, but I recall a quote in the introduction that says something like "This book makes me proud to be from Wisconsin." Lots of good advice about tackle and technique is offered here. There is a large section about Driftless Area spring creeks that applies to Iowa and Minnesota as well as Wisconsin. A good many streams are profiled along with practical tips about how to approach various types of water. You need to see this one.

Finally (whew), the trout bum's idol, Tom Wendelburg, has a book called "Catching Big Fish on Light Fly Tackle" that just might build you a new world. You may not want to switch to tiny 2wt. rods when stalking 20" browns, but there is a wealth of information about fly fishing spring creeks that any fly angler will find handy. There is plenty of good stuff about Driftless streams, as Wendelburg lives near Madison and regularly fishes the local creeks. Without mentioning any names, John Gierach directly refutes some of the opinions in this book, but that's the nature of this sport. Some very different techniques and tackle choices can be effective for catching trout. All methods may have some validity, depending on who you ask.

That ought to keep you busy reading during blazing hot days or cold winter nights when you can't fish. I hope to cross paths with you out on the streams. I suspect we cover the same beat from time to time. Keep us posted on your search for the ultimate Iowa trout stream where the fish are big and have never seen a fisherman's fly!

Edited by user Saturday, July 23, 2016 4:26:48 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

WI-fly  
#9 Posted : Sunday, July 24, 2016 7:32:55 AM(UTC)
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Lots of great suggestions above. I especially love the fiction/memoir suggestions from Gierach and Maclean. Another one in this category is The River Why by David James Duncan.

The illustrated book Curtis Creek Manifesto is very helpful as it is simple and humorous.

=============
Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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Jumpsuit  
#10 Posted : Monday, July 25, 2016 8:09:28 PM(UTC)
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Thank all of guys for all the suggestions, this site is a an absolutely great resource. I'll be checking some of the local Iowa City bookstores as well as placing an order this month with quite of few of these to slowly work my way through.

West Branch, I'm sure we'll cross paths soon enough here in Iowa. I just received a very crude and basic 5 wt. fly combo for my birthday and bought some basic gear and a bare bones fly box of Terrestrials, Scuds, and Woolly Buggers. I'll add more as I go along. I've been practicing casting a lot and even fishing farm ponds to start to slowly get a sense of working on decent loops and my tempo. It's abhorrently ugly looking so far, but I'm looking forward to the years of failure and learning to come. While most of this fall will be spent chucking lures at hole in the wall streams, I'm sure quite of few of the sunny afternoon doldrums will be spent doing a bit of fly fishing at streams like Spring Branch so I slowly begin to gain some experience.

Edited by user Monday, July 25, 2016 8:10:11 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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