Positive Fly Fishing Fly fishing book reviews 

Positive Fly Fishing
by Marla Blair
Hardbound : 193 pp.
The Lyons Press    $24.95
ISBN   1-59228-725-5
Positive Fly Fishing by Marla Blair

Could it be that fly fishing isn't as complicated as we like to think it is? Alas--probably.  As long as the subject is explained well, and the writer is very good at demystifying what has been laid out in thousands of other books, classes, fly shops, and over the Internet--you, too, might arrive at this conclusion. Marla Blair will help you arrive there, as long as you begin, as she suggests, with a positive attitude and don't get too caught up in the occasional nonsense that invades our beloved sport.

Blair's no-nonsense approach toward fly fishing will be welcomed by beginners and even the more experienced who strive toward a more sensible approach toward fish and flies. How to be a beginner is the first lesson.  Blair takes the reader through common trials of the beginner: what to expect from fly fishing classes and clinics, how to approach the sometimes bewildering fly shop folks, and how to get the most out of river guides--without becoming irritated.

People new to the sport will also welcome her disarming advice about the nuances and alternatives of rod choice, casting methods, and the jungle of casting gear we haul up and down the shore. It is easy to get lost and lose focus about what's important in the sport, and fortunately Blair can guide the reader to a reasonable and practical approach that will have the beginner enjoying the sport sooner than most other approaches.

A practical and thorough treatment on insects, the flies that pattern them, and the presentations that attract them will be especially welcome and will not leave the reader (as is sometimes the case in other books) with an uneasy feeling of perpetual incompetence.

There is a lot to think about in this sport. Now, thinking about all the baggage we carry with us to the stream is sometimes half the fun. But Blair reminds us that staying focused on the most important things, like the fish, our ability to observe, and our presentations, is the key to a successful career on the water.

--Toney J. Sisk


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