Washington River Maps & Fishing Guide Fly fishing book reviews 

Washington River Maps & Fishing Guide
Softbound : 48 pp.
Frank Amato Publications    $25.00
ISBN   1-57188-367-3
Washington River Maps

Finding the right river to suit your needs and experience level has just gotten a little easier.  Frank Amato has produced another book in the popular River Maps series of state guides. The first book in this series was the Oregon River Maps & Fishing Guide, and according to the publisher, Montana will soon follow (and let's hope Idaho and Alaska as well, and maybe a few others we like to float in).

After a few beginning chapters that give brief overviews of gear-fishing techniques and flyfishing strategies to think about, as well as a knots page, hatch charts and a species chart, the guide immediately launches into river maps. The first thing that struck me about these guides is the wealth of information collected onto the pages. Each page is devoted to a single river. Depicted on the river maps are everything a river junky wants--the put-ins, take-outs, hatchery locations, river conditions, camping areas, and enough detail in small street maps to get you around city obstacles.

Between the turns and twists  in the river maps, table graphs are arranged that give increasing levels of detail. What is appealing about the table graphs is the intricate detail layered together. Monthly fish activity for a half dozen different species, fishing strategies, fish counts, color-coded frequency charts showing specific species activity are carefully detailed onto a single table. Nearby services and tackle shops are listed as well. Now all you have to do is just add water and stir it all up with your lat muscles. This must be a graphic artist's supreme challenge--considering how much detail needs to be corralled into a cohesive whole.

Now, you don't take these books along with you and navigate with them, unless you want to find your boat and your gear wrapped under and over a sweeper. Check with Amato Books or your favorite white water guides for appropriate navigation guides--and save the River Maps guides for all the other information you need to make your trip successful.

--Toney J. Sisk


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