If you're a fly angler, the best thing is being out on the water casting a fly. The second best is snuggling up with an excellent book about fly fishing. The following list of fishing books is a balanced blend of memoirs and how-to guides, either written by women anglers or for women anglers, all anchored in the river of life and the sport we love so much—fly fishing. Even though online courses and YouTube videos seem like good ways to absorb some content these days, nothing quite matches the ability of a book to bring you where you need to go. It could be be purely instructional, inwardly reflective, or a healthy mix of both, but it's going to help you and your fly fishing exploits one way or another.
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1. Learn How to Fly Fish
Written by Tom Rosenbauer with the support of The Orvis Company, this book is a lovely full-color "For Dummies"-type explainer that equalizes the playing field, offering everyone a chance to learn the fundamentals of fly fishing. By utilizing proven teaching techniques and bright, helpful illustrations and photographs, this guide will enable new fly fishers to select and assemble proper, balanced tackle; cast a line with authority and accuracy; choose the correct fly for any situation; tie the two most helpful fishing knots; find fish in lakes, rivers, and saltwater; and much more. The guide also includes fishing ethics, helpful safety advice, basic angling terms, and everything the new fly fisher might need in a crisp, useful, and finely illustrated primer.
2. River by River, Chapter By Chapter
Shelley Walchak follows a librarian's journey as she spends a year traveling to 52 different rivers on an epic fly fishing adventure. Walchak breaks it down to 52 chapters - one for each river. Lovely photographs accompany the text as she shares the stories of the places she discovered.
3. A Classic How-To Guide
The First Lady of Fly Fishing designed this book for everyone who fishes with a fly rod or wants to learn. In its first edition, "Joan Wulff's Fly-Casting Techniques" became an instant classic, revolutionizing the art form of fly casting and changing how an entire generation approached the sport. With this book, Wulff brings her pioneering set of casting "mechanics" to a new audience, offering precise descriptive terms for every part of the cast. Sections include improving accuracy and distance, loop control, shooting lines, aerial mending, the double haul, correcting common mistakes, and more. With improvements and refinements on her original techniques and a set of extraordinary drawings by David Shepherd, this becomes the most comprehensive book ever written on fly casting.
4. For The Artful Reader
Anne Schreiber digs deep into the author's past and connects the human experience with the natural world around her. With humor, poise, and nuance, Schreiber offers glimpses of her life as she weaves her tale of moving from the city to the country and navigating the deaths of her family members. It is a powerful and emotional journey sure to stick with the reader for a long time.
5. For Young Women
Cecilia Kleinkauf introduces fly fishing to young women through the stories of four peers and the author's knowledge. Kleinkauf uses the real-life experiences of four young women—Alyssa, Samantha, Alex, and Blair—to craft an informative and engaging introduction to the sport of fly fishing for pre-teen and teenage girls.
Kleinkauf covers everything new fly fisherwomen need to know, from basic skills such as casting, wading, and knot tying, to using fly rods and reels and choosing flies. In addition to the basic skills, the book covers catch-and-release ethics and includes stories from adult women anglers who began fly fishing as girls. It tells how to find nearby resources where girls can learn the sport and discover local waters where they might fish.
6. A Woman's Angle: Celebrating 20 Years of Women Fly Fishing
Rabbit Jensen centers this book around The Delaware Valley Women's Fly Fishing Association, which has nourished a passion for fly fishing in hundreds of women since 1996. So many women are now fly fishing that they have become the most critical market segment in the fly fishing industry. Jensen's book tells the story of some women, how they developed an interest in fly fishing, and why.
This book is one of the best books for women anglers, a celebration of fly fishing in the form of the best articles from its widely praised newsletter. Beginners and veteran anglers of all ages and from all walks of life share their enthusiasm and love for the sport. From Cancun to Canada, fly fishing saltwater, streams, ponds, and rivers share their insights, humor, and learning experiences, proving that good women's fly fishing stories are just great fishing yarns.
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