Reading List

TechniquesLeisurePodcast / Anchored GuestsNew
Greased Line Fishing for Salmon (and Steelhead)
Jock Scott

Greased Line Fishing for Salmon was originally printed in the early 1900’s. Over fifty years later Pacific northwest steelheaders found relevance in the book's content, thus printing a revised edition that proved popular amongst both steelhead and Atlantic salmon enthusiasts. This book is brimming with techniques about greased line fishing, proper presentation, flies, and history. It has helped my angling immensely.

Fly Casting Skills
John Symonds & Philip Maher

Flycasting Skills is basically the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) exam laid out in a book.  This mechanical and instructional book clearly leads the reader through easy to understand diagrams and definitions.
Strongly recommended for those CCI’s looking to work towards their MCI.

The Truth About Trout
Robert Sloane

From what I've been told, this book was revolutionary when it came to trout biology (specifically in Australia).  Truthfully, my perception of the author is that he is brilliant in his field as a biologist, yet was quite young when he wrote the book (as was clear in his writing, photos and attitude). That aside, his knowledge on aquatic life makes it easy to acknowledge that he is a man who forever changed the Tasmanian fishery and the anglers who helped shape it.

There are later books written by this author and I look forward to hearing his thoughts about how the fishery (and his viewpoints) have changed over the years.

Salmon Fishing
Frederick Hill

While it may have been written in the mid-1900’s, Salmon Fishing gives the reader a look inside the life of the Scottish ghillie, Frederick Hill.

I particularly enjoyed reading this book alongside Jock Scott’s compilation of A.H.E. Wood’s documentation (titled Greased Line Fishing for Salmon).

Salmon Fishing
Richard Waddington

Of the older books I have read, the theories in Waddington’s Salmon Fishing are some of my favourite to indulge in. Whilst some of his opinions and theories (carefully supported by data from that era) have long since been disproven, Waddington wrote with a charismatic confidence that might make a believer in just about anyone!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading his findings and hearing about his fly innovations that shook up the fishing industry at the time.

Two Handed Fly Casting
Al Buhr

I received my copy of Al’s book when it first came out in 2006.  At the time, I wasn’t capable of truly understanding his very descriptive and technical explanations. However, upon picking it up again (after developing a more in depth understanding of casting mechanics and physics), I can confidently say that this is the best double hand casting book I have read so far.

Truthfully, I suggest some actual casting experience when reading this one, but nonetheless this book should be in every Spey casters library.

The Essence of Flycasting
Mel Krieger

How anybody could read one of Mr. Krieger’s books and not immediately fall in love with his teaching style is beyond me.

The Essence of Flycasting is an exceptional read for new casters, as well as casters who may be looking to achieve their FFF certification.

Atlantic Salmon Magic
Topher Browne

Many of the Atlantic salmon books in my reading list contain information that may be deemed outdated in today’s scientific world. For me, Atlantic Salmon Magic is the most up to date, accurate and informational salmon book available on shelves today. Topher’s writing style is entertaining and hard to put down.

The Fly-Fishers Craft
Darrel Martin

Following a particularly delightful foreword by Ted Leeson, Mr. Martin dives into a deep history of our sport.  Beginning with fly-tying, he walks the reader through centuries (starting at 200 A.D.) of flies, methodologies, literature, and materials.  This book is probably the most comprehensive book I have read so far, especially when it comes to fly-tying.  From here, Mr. Martin walks the reader through a history (and how-to) of hooks, lines, and loop-rods.

I will admit that it took me several sittings to complete the tying chapters, but the knowledge I took away from this book made every single paragraph worth it.  A 100% must read for fellow history buffs.

Lines on the Water
David Adams Richards

In Lines on the Water, Richards invites the reader into his childhood and personal experiences while growing up fishing for Atlantic salmon in New Brunswick.

I found his book to be well-written and refreshingly honest; a book that can be enjoyed by both fishers and non-fishers alike.

Lost Land of Moses
Peter Thomas

In the Lost Land of Moses, the author lays out a concise historical timeline, and summarizes North America’s introduction to salmon fishing.

While I found parts of the book to be both dry and plainly written (a trait often found in history books), the factual references and notes that the Lost Land of Moses chronicles are well-researched and relevant to even the most educated east-coast angler.

One Man’s Steelhead Shangri-La
Ralph Wahl

When it comes to quick reads that offer genuine reflection from “under the radar” anglers, One Man's Steelhead Shangri-La is at the top of my list.

Mr. Wahl writes both eloquently and with a sense of humor found even in the most serious of his on-the water dramas. For readers who want a better look into the life of an old-school gentleman who thrived off secrecy and unmolested fisheries, this is a book that I suggest purchasing.

Fisherman’s Fall
Roderick Haig-Brown

If there is one author in the world who I feel impacted fishing literature more than any other, it's Roderick Haig-Brown.

While I encourage readers to read most of his work, Fisherman's Fall holds a special place in my heart.
In this piece, Haig-Brown displays remarkable knowledge about writing, conservation, biology, steelhead/salmon and fly-fishing in general. It is always interesting to read his early books and watch him mature as a writer, father, man and angler.  Fisherman's Fall is truly a classic.

Silver
Roderick Haig-Brown

What a treat to experience Roderick Haig-Brown’s first published book!

Upon residing and falling in love with Canada's British Columbia, Haig-Brown wrote this book during a brief return home to England. Silver outlines the journey and struggles of a single Atlantic salmon born in an England stream who must undergo both Mother Nature and man's impact.

Steelhead Country
Steve Raymond

Well, this was a surprise I didn’t anticipate.
Upon purchasing my first book written by Steve Raymond, I wondered what took me so long to find him.

Steelhead Country is a book about the Pacific northwest trout/steelhead fishery and Raymond's interaction with them. I find his work to be both incredibly well-written & forward thinking - a true pleasure from start to finish.

Tales of Fishing Virgin Seas
Zane Grey

Zane Grey's Tales of Fishing Virgin Seas is a collection of exciting, well-told stories that had me holding my breath on multiple occasions. While this piece may not be about fly-fishing, it is still an accurate illustration of the mysteries and adventures that once lurked in the deep blue seas.

The Life History of the Canadian Salmon
Gray Griswold

I was fortunate to borrow an original print of The Life History of the Canadian Salmon written in the early 1900’s by forward-thinking author, Gray Griswold. Griswold's early prediction of decreasing numbers within the east coast's Atlantic salmon leaves chills in the conservation minded reader.

He eloquently outlines an accurate depiction of what was bound to happen if anglers chose not to actively partake in preserving the limited resource.  It pains me to write that 100 years ago this man foresaw a collapse that was obviously preventable.

The Longest Silence
Thomas McGuane

The Longest Silence is refreshingly honest and well written. In my opinion, McGuane is one of the few present-day fishing authors who writes with humor, class, and elegance — all while bringing light to reality and humanity; encouraging readers to look deep within themselves.

Skeena Steelhead
Bob Hooton

When Bob Hooton retired from his role as a regional steelhead biologist in BC, he wrote a tell-all book that shook the steelhead world. Bob is no stranger to conflict and he has no hesitation to speak the truth when it needs to be heard. This is not a 'feel good' book, but it is an honest one — and one that we’d be irresponsible to ignore.

Let My People Go Surfing
Yvon Chouinard

Let My People Go Surfing is one of the best business books I have ever read.  It’s hard for anyone to deny that Patagonia founder and innovator, Yvon Chouinard, has changed the way the world of business is run today.  For me, this book not only allowed me a better insight into Yvon’s life, but it also forced me to take a deeper look inside my own business, humanitarian and environmental practises.

I believe this book should be required reading for anyone who is looking to succeed in business, or quite frankly, life in general.

Sharks, the Sea and Me
Rodney Fox

Somewhat of an Australian celebrity, Rodney Fox writes a tell-all book that shares his career as a diver — and the shark attack that almost took his life.  The book isn’t necessarily well-written, but it is a heart-pounding read as the author recounts ocean encounters that should have left him for dead.

Mr. Fox is much more than just a shark survivor — he is also the man behind most of the Jaws movie footage, and more importantly, the shark conservation movement that helped to forever change the protection laws of the Great White shark.

The Alaska Chronicles: An Unwashed View of Life, Work, and Fly Fishing
Miles Nolte

Upon reading Miles Nolte's collection of stories from his Alaskan guide season, I was immediately impressed by his writing style and his personality. Miles writes with honesty, humor, artistry and story-telling that holds the reader captive as he documents his guide days.  As a fellow guide, I appreciate Mr. Nolte's recollection of both the harsh and the soft moments — moments exposed by the vulnerability of the wilderness.

The Alaska Chronicles is the most accurate depiction of a guide's season that I have ever had the pleasure of reading; mixed emotions that only somebody who hasn't slept or felt a tender hand in months (while always needing to "be on" and "on guard") could understand.  Thank you, Miles, for so perfectly bringing your reader into the life of a guide — this book has long been overdue and I'm sorry that it took me six years to find it.

Sex, Death, and Fly-Fishing
John Gierach

I am appalled that I let over thirty years pass before reading one of John Gierach's books.  Witty, honest, fun, and well-written, this is what fly-fishing literature should be.  Whether you are a writer looking to fish, a fisher looking to write, one of the few who do both, or one of the many who do neither — this is one book of short stories that I can recommend with complete confidence.

Trout Grass (DVD)
David James Duncan

Trout Grass is an inspiring documentary about Chinese bamboo sourced specifically for custom rod-builders around the globe.  For me, this story unveiled the mystique behind one of the most ancient and significant materials in the world, all while increasing my respect for the people who make it happen.  While there are some who may find the piece too poetic for their liking, it is still a "must watch" for those who wish to fully understand just how much soul lay within each unique rod.

R.I.P. Andy Royer.

Creating the Garrison Fly Rod (DVD)
Hoagy B. Carmichael

Truthfully, upon receiving this DVD, I was dreading watching old footage of a man piecing together a rod.  But as soon as I pressed the play button my mood changed.  Mr. Garrison, a classic rod builder from the mid-1900's, is a delight to watch in this unique video.  Here I learned a ton about how bamboo rods are built and how laborious every single detail is.  Hints of Garrison's personality expose themselves during the filming of this DVD and he had me laughing out loud on several occasions.  A must-watch for bamboo enthusiasts.

The Whale People
Roderick Haig-Brown

I'll be honest and admit that I originally purchased this book because it is a first edition print and I was looking to grow my Haig-Brown library.  When I started to read The Whale People, I immediately realized why the author chose to write it.  This unique book sets itself apart from the rest of Haig-Brown's writing and I felt like, in the most simple way possible, he took me by the hand and opened my eyes to the ways of the West coast's indigenous people.  This is one book that has many stories written between the lines of the story itself.  Enjoy.

Frog Call
Greg French

Greg French is an Australian author based out of Tasmania.
Frog Call’s collection of short stories is doused with cheeky humor, honesty, and deep insight into fish management in the 'land down under'.
Greg is an extremely talented writer and I recommend this book, not only to those looking to learn more about the Tasmanian trout fishery, but also to those looking to improve their writing skills. Any writer who can consistently use the word "fuckedness", yet still write with such flawless usage of the English language gets major props from me.

Find Greg's podcast with me here.

May the Rivers Never Sleep
Bill & John McMillan

Bill and John McMillan are two of the most notable and educated biologists in the fishing industry today. May the Rivers Never Sleep is a much needed (and deserved) tribute to Roderick Haig-Brown.

This aesthetically appealing hardcopy educates the reader about the specifics and subtleties that are so often overlooked in west-coast steelhead fisheries. This book is easily read in an hour and is both poetic and well-written, leaving me eager for more literature from the father/son duo.

New Fly Casting Techniques
Joan Wulff

What I am about to say here is a huge statement (for me):
Joan’s latest casting book is, without question, the best single-hand fly casting book I have ever read. Joan’s knowledge, explanations, diagrams, and writing style are some of the best I have found in written form.

This is a book that is suitable for casters of all experience levels and is one that seems to teach the reader more every single time they read it.
Simply “wow”.

A Steelheader’s Way
Lani Waller

There are some books considered to be classics in the steelhead world — A Steelheader's Way is one of those books.  Lani Waller’s abundant knowledge about wild steelhead (and the anglers who pursue them), is found between the covers of this must read. Even the most experienced angler will learn how to better target fish in freshwater rivers.

Waller has an exceptional outlook on conservation, life, philosophy and mankind. I cannot recommend this book enough!

Find Lani's podcast with me here.

A Few Great Flies & How to Fish Them
Peter Morse

In this book, Peter highlights a variety of flies that have proven to be successful over the years.  Some of the patterns he shares are classics of our time, whereas others are relatively unknown (apart from his circle of fishing buddies and a plethora of fish who made the mistake of biting them).

While this book is particularly geared toward Australian saltwater fisheries, it is incredibly helpful for anglers around the world.  Each chapter showcases a particular productive fly, showing the reader how to tie them, how he's fished them in past, and how he suggests they're fished in future.

Find Peter's podcast with me here.

Bluewater Fly Fishing
Trey Combs

One can only imagine my shock to find that Trey Combs is a talented saltwater fisherman! Mr. Combs is so highly regarded as a steelhead specialist in the Pacific northwest that it seemed shocking that he'd ever had time to pursue any other sport fish apart from freshwater species.

Bluewater Fishing is an array of stories, techniques and species that simultaneously educates and entertains the reader.  Midway through the book (when the tuna chapters begin), I felt as though some of the book's momentum was lost. If tuna are of little interest to the reader, not much is missed if those particular chapters are skipped so as to avoid losing interest.  Apart from that (and mildly outdated gear/outfitters), this book is at the top of my 'favourites list' as an introduction to offshore fishing and various world-class saltwater professionals who helped to shape the sport as we know it today.

Find Trey's podcast with me here.

Spey Flies & Dee Flies: Their History & Construction
John Shewey

Almost every avid fly tier I know has that "one book" that helped to educate and advance their skill set. For me, John Shewey's Spey Flies and Dee Flies was the "one book" that forever changed my fly-tying.  I bought John's book when it was first released in 2002 and can say with confidence that this book has taught me more about tying traditional patterns, modern streamer patterns, and fly-tying materials than any other tying book that I own.
The book's techniques and photographs make it easy for anglers to follow his patterns, or to use his ideas to create their own variation of streamer.

It's hard to find this book these days (it's out of print), but if you can get your hands on a copy, be sure never to let it go!

Find John's podcast with me here.

Single Handed Spey Casting
Simon Gawesworth

Review to come. Find Simon's podcast with me here.

Casts that Catch Fish (DVD)
Carl McNeil

If ever there was a casting video to help anglers with their casting and their fish catching ability, this is it!  Casts that Catch Fish is brilliantly filmed, informative, and truly designed for anglers of all experience levels.  Both beginning and experienced anglers will benefit from this easy to follow instruction — in fact, I've been referring to Carl's DVD a lot these days for my own trout fishing, and for just casting practise in general.

My review?  You'd be foolish not to own a copy.

Find Carl's podcast with me here.

Braid and Gelspun Superlines
Rod Harrison

As a courtesy, I commit to reading the books written by Anchored's guests — and I'll admit that Braid and Gelspun Superlines was not one I was excited to read. That said, I don't know how Harro managed to do it, but his book on braided lines is actually rather entertaining.

The well-spoken Aussie finds a way to include humor and honest perspective into the history of the lines, how they're made, and why they're marketed the way they are.
Whilst some of the humor may be missed by the North American reader, it is still worth a browse to understand more about the lines we use as backing, special knots, fish-playing techniques, and other bits of information quite useful to the everyday angler.

Find Rod's podcast with me here.

Mending the Line (DVD)
Frank Moore (Uncage the Soul Productions)

This inspiring video had my entire family in silence as we watched it together one evening.  Even if you have seen the short version on the IF4 circuit, sitting down to watch the full length DVD is worth every second.  The heart-warming documentary features Frank Moore, a WWII vet, as he returns to the waters of Normandy to fish the same rivers near where he fought many years ago.  Frank's story is one that viewers of all ages can appreciate.

Find Frank's podcast with me here.

Classic Steelhead Flies
John Shewey

I cannot even begin to imagine how much research John Shewey must have done to bring a book like this together.  Classic Steelhead Flies is a one-stop-shop to discovering the people and stories behind some of the most popular flies in PNW steelhead culture.

The book includes photos of each featured fly (in alphabetical order), and directions for how to tie the majority of them.  I cannot recommend this book enough!

Find John's podcast with me here.

RIO's Modern Spey Casting
Simon Gawesworth

This was the video that started it all for me (well, the one that directed me to proper instruction anyway).  This comprehensive, 3-disc series breaks down Spey casting mechanics, lines, and styles.  While I don't recommend trying to watch all three discs in one sitting, this is one collection that every angler needs to have in their arsenal.  Whether it's fine-tuning, advancement, or simply a better understanding of your cast that you're looking for, I 100% put my faith in this series and suggest that you do too.

Find Simon's podcast with me here.

Lani Waller's Steelhead Legacy
Lani Waller

In true Lani fashion, he gives his all in this project (both in the original footage that was filmed in the 80's, as well as in the updated/revised footage that's included in this two-pack set).

It's hard to deny that Lani and 3M were ahead of their time with this complete and comprehensive series.  From methodology, history, species, biology, and more... not a single rock is left unturned in this steelhead education.

Find Lani's podcast with me here.

Fusion Fly Tying
Greg Senyo

Review to come. Find Greg's podcast with me here.

Advanced Fly Fishing for Great Lakes Steelhead
Rick Kustich

Review to come. Find Rick's podcast with me here.

Fly Fishing the Inland Oceans
Jerry Darkes

Review to come. Find Jerry's podcast with me here.

Fly Fishing Great Waters
Jim Teeny

Review to come. Find Jim's podcast with me here.

In the Land of the Red Goat
Bob Henderson

Every so often I find a book that I just cannot put down.  Bob Henderson's, In the Land of the Red Goat, is one of those books.  Here, Bob shares stories from his past about his days as a hunting and fishing guide in the remote mountains of BC.  Tales of bears, bush pilots, fly-out lodges, and pioneers, Mr. Henderson offers insight into a life that many of us have often wondered about pursuing ourselves.  Prepare to be entertained.

You can find it for purchase at books@speedee.ca or at Chapters here.