book reivew of Fly Waters Near and Far Fly fishing Book Reviews

Fly Waters Near and Far 
Barry and Cathy Beck
Hardbound:  289 pp.
Stackpole Books    $60
ISBN   0-8117-0101-8
Fly Waters Near and Far graphic

This is so much better than the Internet. You can google all the places explored in the Becks' book until your fingers get sore and still not arrive at the kind of feeling for the land and its water displayed in this book. It is the ideal coffee table book--and without the popup ads.

Thirteen areas across the globe are presented, from Belize to Russia. Too many books, magazines and Web sites that present photos of fishing destinations often resort to cliché by displaying smiling faces and big fish with wide-angle lenses. The Becks' book goes further than this by presenting lengthy photo essays of each area covered along with an historical context. What is particularly informative about this book's treatment is that it presents the fly water from different perspectives, angles and lighting conditions, giving the reader a strong sense of the nature of the water he or she might stand in some day--its weeds, rocks, width, currents, size, color, depth and, of course, the fish.

A growing problem with photography in magazine, books, and Web sites is deteriorating photo quality. Poor presentation, odd lens choices and inferior film and digital cameras leading to pixelation are all too common now. Expect none of this in the Becks' book. The reproductions are impeccable. The silhouettes and the depth of field shots are well presented and imaginative. The authors have a knack for finding "the decisive moment" in fly fishing, particularly when it comes to capturing the well-cast line suspended in perfect loops.

As a flyfisher, I need more than pretty pictures. I want to both get a sense of what other flyfishers are talking about. More important, I want to make decisions about possible fishing vacations. With this book, I get this and much more--as well as something pleasurable to put before my visitors as they sit around my coffee table.

--Toney J. Sisk


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