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Old 04-21-2009, 01:00 AM
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Default Best fly casting and fly fishing books for beginners?

I was given a 9ft 6wt cabelas three forks fly fishing outfit this past christmas and I look foward to learning how to use it.

I am looking for a beginners guide type book for fly fishing. Something that covers all of the basic terms and techniques, as well as advanced techniques.

Ive been looking at these three books:

LL BEAN FLY-FISHING HANDBOOK

The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide, Completely Revised and Updated with Over 400
New Color Photos and Illustrations

Ll Bean Fly-Casting Handbook

anyone recommend any of these or any others?
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:45 AM
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Default Re: Best fly casting and fly fishing books for beginners?

Fly Fishing by Tom McNally, it's old (1977/78) but I have never looked at anything better. Check eBay or Amazon for a copy. It is not full of color photos but his writing and the line drawings will make the points quite well.
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: Best fly casting and fly fishing books for beginners?

For books, I’m not familiar with the one Ard recommended, but the LL Bean Fly Fishing Handbook by Dave Whitlock is very good at about 14 bucks. For a few dollars more though you might want to go for LL Bean’s Ultimate Guide to Fly Fishing. It's a compilation of all 3 LL Bean intro fly fishing books by Dave Whitlock (the LL Bean fly fishing handbook) but includes the other 2 by Dick Talleur (fly tying handbook) and Macaulay Lord (includes the handbook on fly casting) about (16 bucks)
Amazon.com: The L.L. Bean Ultimate Book of Fly Fishing (L. L. Bean): Macauley Lord, Dick Talleur, Dave Whitlock: Books

For fly casting, rather than a book, I’d HIGHLY recommend this DVD by Joan Wulff (about 22 bucks). The DVD will give you a much better sense of the mechanics--- trying to read instructions and convert it into movement will make your head explode. The other thing the DVD does is that it helps to reinforce the notion that fly casting is all about the timing rather than brute strength – Joan Wulff is pushing 80+ years old and is 90lbs soaking wet.
Amazon.com: Joan Wulff's Dynamics of Fly Casting: From Solid Basics to Advanced Techniques: Joan Wulff, Jeff Pill: Movies & TV

Three other things I’d do:

1. Browse through the search feature to see if there are any local chapters of Trout Unlimited or clubs affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers near you:
Council/Chapter Search | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries
Locate a Club

Joining a group can take years off the learning curve. You’ll get help with casting, learn where to go, how to info, be able to try out different gear on the lawn before meetings, get some mentoring from more experienced folks and go on group trips to local waters and meet some new fishing buddies.

2. The internet is your friend. Google “beginning fly fishing” and “fly fishing 101” for some helpful free info on getting started. For fly casting, google “tight Lines fly casting youtube” for a 3 part series of basic vids. Another site is Sexyloops - the best fly fishing and fly casting instruction seven days a week for tons of info and vids on fly casting. (Just don’t type in the url at work because of the name of the site. You might get a visit from the HR folks.)

3. And last but not least, browse some of the FAQ’s and past threads on this forum and ask questions here too. You’ll get a ton of advise, there’s a lot of helpful folks here.

Good luck and have fun!

mark
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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Default Re: Best fly casting and fly fishing books for beginners?

I think the Orvis book is an excellent introduction to fly fishing. Every aspect is introduced...sort of an overall orientation. For instance, they'll go through basic bug life cycles enough so you're aware of them, realizing that whole books are written on particular insects.

When learning to cast, several excellent DVDs are out there. I think Mel Krieger is a superb teacher ("Essence..." and particularly "Essence II..."). Of the books, the LL Bean Casting Book is really good because it tells you how to practice, an often disregarded topic.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Best fly casting and fly fishing books for beginners?

I've given a couple of newbies the Tom McNally book that Ard referred too
Wish I had one for myself
It's worth the price just for the chapter on pike fishing alone
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Best fly casting and fly fishing books for beginners?

Smog,
There are many great books available that cover the sport from A to Z and some even delve into latin. My best suggestion for beginers is to keep it simple at first. There is a ton of information on different techniques, flies, casting, entomology etc... I find that it can be information overload for most people wanting to take up the sport. The great thing about flyfishing is that it has a progressive learning curve, even the sage old veteran picks up new things on a regular basis, so don't think you need to pick it up all at once. You can and will learn alot from books but your best instructor is going to be the river. If you keep it simple to start and really work on learning one aspect at a time you will improve at a much quicker rate than if you try and fiqure it all out at once.

So with that being said one of my all time favorite books for begginers is the Curtis Creek Manifesto. It is an illustrated book, much like a comic, that does a wonderful job of giving you the essential basics on how to be successful. It doesn't dive into things in great detail but it covers the basic concepts that need to be perfected before any of the advanced techniques can come into play.

Over the years I have watched plenty of folks take up this sport only to be overwhelmed with trying to keep up with all the different stuff that is associated with the sport. The most important things you can learn to do are make a decent cast, understand how to minipulate the line once it's on the water to present your flies correctly, read the water to know where the fish are most likely to be sitting and get out and fish as often as you can. The fly patterns, specialty techniques, advanced knots, leader rigs and other advanced ideas will become part of your arsenal soon enough but most of them will not catch you more fish if you don't have a solid foundation to build upon.

For casting the videos will be your best bet since it will be much more clearly stated what they want you to achieve. Joan Wulff is a wonderful teacher as are the videos by Mel Krieger called the Essence of Casting.

I don't know if you can get this video anymore but you might check out Amazon. "The Anatomy of a Trout Stream" by Rick Haffle (SP) is a great instructional video about reading the water and understanding trout behavior. If you can find it I would highly recommend it.

Good luck with your reading and have fun on the water!
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