Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod and Reel

Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod and Reel

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by Yvon Chouinard
     
 

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Modern-day fly fishing, like much in life, has become exceedingly complex, with high-tech gear, a confusing array of flies and terminal tackle, accompanied by high-priced fishing guides. This book reveals that the best way to catch trout is simply, with a rod and a fly and not much else. The wisdom in this book comes from a simpler time, when the premise was: the more

Overview

Modern-day fly fishing, like much in life, has become exceedingly complex, with high-tech gear, a confusing array of flies and terminal tackle, accompanied by high-priced fishing guides. This book reveals that the best way to catch trout is simply, with a rod and a fly and not much else. The wisdom in this book comes from a simpler time, when the premise was: the more you know, the less you need. It teaches the reader how to discover where the fish are, at what depth, and what they are feeding on. Then it describes the techniques needed to present a fly at that depth, make it look lifelike, and hook the fish. With chapters on wet flies, nymphs, and dry flies, its authors employ both the tenkara rod as well as regular fly fishing gear to cover all the bases. Illustrated by renowned fish artist James Prosek, with inspiring photographs and stories throughout, Simple Fly Fishing reveals the secrets and the soul of this captivating sport.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Therein lies the book's charm. Part straightforward how-to, part back-to-basics manifesto, the volume is also a bit of a sermon that seeks to spread the good word about a centuries-old Japanese technique known as "tenkara" that Mr. Chouinard believes is the hands-down easiest and most pleasurable way to fish. Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781938340284
Publisher:
Patagonia
Publication date:
04/15/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
197,792
File size:
32 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt


Introduction
By Yvon Chouinard

“Despite rumors to the contrary the paramount objective is to catch fish.”
Sheridan Anderson, The Curtis Creek Manifesto

Why write one more book about fishing when there probably have been more books written on the subject then there are romance novels?

Since the fifteenth century every nuance of the sport of fly-fishing has been written about in the utmost detail to the point where we are left to endlessly reinvent what has already been discovered. A tiny change on a classic fly and the “inventor” gets to name it after himself, and collect a dime for each one sold. Many of the books on technique are like business books where a minor theory is spread out to three hundred pages, when it really needs to be just an article in a magazine.

Heaven knows we fly fisherman are suckers for every new gizmo we think will give us a leg up on catching fish. We wear vests with twenty pockets and waders with even more storage; and as if that isn’t enough, we have lanyards, waist packs, and backpacks to carry even more impedimenta. Dozens of fly lines are available to us, yet I seriously doubt you will catch one more trout with a specific nymphing line than a classic double taper. The no-nonsense fly fisherman from Terrace, British Columbia, Rob Brown, looking over a steelheader’s array of fly boxes filled with hundreds of garish flies, said it best when he asked, “When did the green-butt stop working for you?”

I would offer that the proliferation of gear is supported by busy people who lack for nothing in their lives except time. Their “time-saving” communication devices, like tablets, Blackberries, and smart phones, make slaves of their owners. They are unwilling to put in the 10,000 hours needed to make themselves skillful fisherman, hunters, or mountain climbers. Instead, they load up with all the latest stuff and hire guides to do everything for them—including tying on the fly and releasing the fish so they don’t get their hands slimed. The guides have become enablers rather than teachers. How many bonefish would the average angler catch if they had to work out the tides, and wade and spot fish themselves, instead of waiting for a guide to bark, “ten o’clock, forty-foot cast now! Wait . . . strip . . . strip”? The guides leave the clients so insecure and unsure of themselves that they think that there must be some secret knowledge that only the guide knows.

The higher purpose of practicing a sport such as fly-fishing, hunting, or mountain climbing is to affect a spiritual and physical gain. If the process is compromised, there is no transformation.

Fishing with a fly can be such an incredibly complex and passionate sport that no one can fully master all the different disciplines in one lifetime. Some anglers will prefer to limit themselves to only fishing with dry flies, perfecting their casting, fly tying, or learning the Latin names and life history of all the insects. These can be legitimate endeavors in themselves, and there are untold books written about these subjects. This book is not one of them.

This is a book for the young person who has wanted to learn, but is intimidated by the complexity, elitism, and expense of the sport. He sees his father who owns multiple thousand dollar rods and reels, fishes only with guides at five hundred plus dollars a day plus mandatory tips, and flies all over the world to stay at luxury lodges. The son thinks, “this is not for me.”

It is also for the woman and her daughter, who are put off by the image of the testosterone fueled “rip-some-lips,” good old boy, bass and trout fisherman who has turned the “contemplative pastime” into a competitive combat sport.

This is also a book for the long time angler who has everything and wants to replace all that stuff with skill, knowledge, and simplicity. Who believes that a design, or piece of art, or a sporting endeavor, is finalized and mastered “not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away,” as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry advocated.

We may have reached a point in fly-fishing where there is nothing more of substance that can be added. Our vests are loaded down with so many fly boxes that we look like the Michelin Man. Our neck lanyards are so decked out with gizmos and beads that we may as well keep the top buttons of our shirts open so we can also attract Latin girls.

Maybe its time to look at the raked Zen sand garden with its three stones and see if we can convey the same powerful, evocative image of space and balance with only two rocks, or even one.

Most anglers soon discover simple fly-fishing helps preserve our capacity for wonder. It can teach us to see, smell, and feel the miracles of stream life, with the beauty of nature and serenity all around, as we pursue wild fish.

Meet the Author

Yvon Chouinard, a noted fly fisherman (chosen by Fly, Rod, and Reel as Angler of the Year in 2009) and environmentalist, is the founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc. He cofounded, with Craig Mathews, 1 Percent for The Planet, a group of businesses giving back to the environment. He lives in Ventura, CA.
Craig Mathews, with his wife, Jackie, is the owner and founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, a retail fly-fishing outfitter based in West Yellowstone, MT. Craig has authored five books on fly-fishing in the western United States and Yellowstone National Park and is renowned as an expert fly fishing guide.
Mauro Mazzo is an FFF Certified Master and THCI Casting Instructor, and he writes and photographs on a regular basis for European fly-fishing magazines. He has fished around the globe from the Italian Alps to Himachal Pradesh, from Cuba to the Kola Peninsula. He lives in Milan, Italy.
James Prosek is an American artist, writer, and naturalist. Born in Stamford, CT, he is a 1997 graduate of Yale University where he was a member of Manuscript Society. Prosek published his first book in 1996 while studying at Yale. He lives in Easton, CT.
Russell Chathamis a contemporary American landscape artist. He is the author or contributor to several books on fly fishing.

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Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod and Reel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done, basic instruction based on personal experience...