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Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass by Harry Murray

Published by Lyons and Burrford, Publishers - 31 West 21st Street - New York, NY - 10010

If your local lakes and streams are populated with Smallmouth Bass then you should be fishing for them. And, you definately should have this book in your library.

Harry Murray, a leading authority on Smallmouth Bass fishing, disscusses all aspects of fly fishing for smallmouth, from topwater flies, bugs, poppers, and tactics to new brands of streamer, nymph, and "strymph" fishing that he and others have developed over the years.

He also covers other topics including reading a smallmouth river, river fishing from a canoe or boat, and fishing smallmouth lakes.

One of the final chapters -"Tying Smallmouth Flies and Bugs" - contains almost thirty pages illustrating and describing the smallmouth lures that Harry believes are the most productive and he also includes the recipe for each fly along with general tying instructions.

You can order "Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass" by contacting Harry at his combination fly shop and drugstore at (800) 984 4895. I'm sure that he will even autograph it for you.

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Bass on the Fly by A.D. Livingston

Published by Ragged Mountain Press - P.O. Box 220 - Camden, ME - 04843

A.D. Livingston is one of the "old-timers" who has been fishing for and writing about bass and bass flies for a long time.

This book, published in 1992, is an updated version of "Fly Rodding for Bass" published in 1976. The book is divided into four parts: Selecting Tackle and Gear, Lures and How to Fish Them, When and Where to Catch Bass, and The Mechanics of Fly Fishing.

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L.L. Bean Fly Fishing Handbook by Dave Whitlock

Published by Lyons and Burford, Publishers - 31 West 21st Street - New York, NY - 10010

This beautifully written and illustrated little book should be in every fly anglers library. Even though it's probably intended for those who are new to fly fishing there is something there for all of us. For one thing It's illustrations, done by Dave who is an outstanding artist, are extraordinaary.

The book covers the basic skill of fly casting and choice and assembly of tackle, as well as tips on safety, an introduction to the foods fish eat (and how to imitate them), a group of recommended fly assortments, and a useful glossary.

Among many highlights in the book is a desription and illustration of how to connect the leader to the line with a "Zap-A-Gap Line to Leader Connection" which I have come to believe is the best way to attach your tapered leader to the fly line.

You can purchase the book directly from Dave at his web site at:

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The L.L. Fly Fishing for Bass Handbook by Dave Whitlock

Published by Lyons and Burford, Publishers - 31 West 21st Street - New York, NY - 10010

Dave Whitlock wrote and illustrated this book in 1988 and the information in it is as relavent today as it was back then. I am especially partial to this book because it was one of the first books that was devoted exclusively to fly fishing for the black basses.

Chapters include Bass Basics, Fly Fishing and Fly Tackle, Tackle Assembly, Fly Casting for Bass, Bass Flies, Fly Fishing Bass Flies, Where to Fly Fish for Bass, and much more.

You need this book in your library. You can order it from Dave online at:

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Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass by Joe Bruce

Published by K&D Limited, Inc. - 14834 Old Frederick Road - Woodbine, MD 21797

The strength of this mini-book (only 95 pages) is the photos, recipes, and instructions for tying a dozen or so fly patterns including the Clauser Deep Minnow - Baby Bass.

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Fly Fishing for Panfish by Joe Bruce

Published by K&D Limited, Inc. - 14834 Old Frederic Road - Woodbinbe, MD - 21797

This is one of the few books around that devotes its entire contents to fishing for panfish. And, it does a fair job of covering the subject even though it's a small, thin, volume with only 95 pages. You can't say to much in such limited space but Joe does a good job of it.

The book has five chapters. In the first he discusses fishing for Bluegills, Crappie, and Yellow Perch. The other chapters cover tackle, fishing techniques, fishing through the seasons, and suggested fly patterns for those three species.

The fly patterns section provides a photo of each fly (about a dozen) and tying instructions that are not photo enhanced.

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Black Bass & the Fly Rod by Charles F. Waterman

Published by Stackpole Books - P.O. Box 1831 - Harrisburg, PA - 17105

Charlie Waterman was one of our great contempory outdoor writers who just passed away a year or two ago. He wrote many books and magazine articles on fishing and hunting but fishing for the Black Basses was his passion from early on in his youth. This is one of two book he wrote on fly fishing for bass.

This book offers everything you could want to know about bass bugs, including their interesting history, recent innovations and modifications, and the casting skills best suited to their use. Plus he gives you his tips and tricks for fishing those bugs for both largemouth and smallmouth bass.

This book belongs in every serious bass angler's bookcase.

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Fly Rodding for Bass by Charles F. Waterman

Published by Lyons&Burford, Publishers - 31 West 21st Street - New York, NY - 10010

This is one of those slim volumes from the Cortland Library that may be small but is chocked full of good information.

In just ninety pages, Charlie covers everything about fly fishing for bass, from what you need -- to how to use it. He even devotes a chapter to the other species you catch in the basses back yard including bluegills, pickerel, pike, and crappie.

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Fly Fishing Bass Basics by C. Boyd Pfeiffer

Published by Stackpole Books - 5067 Ritter Road - Mechanicsburg, PA 17005

Boyd Pfeiffer is one of a few writers who supports his family solely by writing about fly fishing and fly tying. One of his most recent books is "Tying Warmwater Flies." You will find a review of that book in the fly tying book section.

Nine of the ten chapters in the book cover How to Get Started in Fly Fishing, Bass Fly-Fishing Tackle, Bass Flies and Bugs, Basic Fly Casting for Bass, Effective Bass Retrieves and Fishing Methods, Wading and Float Boating Fly-Fishing Techniques, Where to Find Bass and How to Fish Them, and Hooking, Fighting, and Landing Bass.

The tenth chapter (about 20 pages) is devoted to tying simple bass bugs and flies including how to tie foam bugs. Some patterns include step-by-step instructions.

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Fly Fishing for Bass by Lefty Kreh

Published by The Lyons Press - P.O. Box 480 - Guilford, CT 06437

This little pocket-sized book, written by one of America's best know fly fisherman is packed full of information about how to fish for Smallmouth, Largemouth, and the exotic basses.

Lefty covers many of the topics covered in other Bass Fly Fishing books but what makes it worth having in your library is that it is written from his perspective. Need I say more.

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Bluegill Fly Fishing and Flies by Terry and Roxanne Wilson

Published by Frank Amato Publications - P.O. Box 82112 - Portland, OR 97282

Dave Whitlock wrote in the Forward to this book, "When I hear, read, or see anything about catching big bluegills, it immediately gets my undivided attention. That's exactly what happened when the Wilsons told me of their plans to publish a book. They sent me a rough draft to read and write a Foreword for. Once I began reading it, I couldn't stop until I'd read all ten chapters. Every chapter is loaded with excellent motivation and instruction about fly fishing for big bluegill wherever they swim, all year long."

Reading Dave's Forward was good enough for me. I bought a copy, and if you love to fish for big bluegills as much as I do, you should buy a copy too.

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Largemouth Bass Fly-Fishing by Terry and Roxanne Wilson

Published by Frank Amato Publications - P.O. Box 82112 - Portland, OR 97282

This is Terry and Roxanne Wilson's companion book to their popular and informative book "Bluegill Fly Fishing and Flies."And, let me say at the start that it's as well written and informative as thier firist book.

What sets this book apart from others is their thorough treatment of fishing for bass at all depths in the water column from top to bottom. And, they include recommended flies for each depth.

The book also includes beautiful fly plates showing several flies for shallow water, mid-depth water and deep water. The recipe and written instructions for tying each fly is also included.

Unfortunately for the fly tyer, the instructions aren't supported by photos of each step, but that's understandable. It's simply to cost prohibitive for authors and book publishers to include the additional pages and color photos necessary to accomplish that task. If they did, most of us wouldn't be able to afford the cost of this or any other warmwater fly fishing book.

Now, here is the good news. This great book is reasonably priced and affordable. If you chase bass with a fly rod you should own a copy.

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Fly Fisher's Guide to Warmwater Lakes by Cliff Hauptman

Published by Lyons&Burford, Publishers - 31 West 21st street - New York, NY 10010

It's one thing to know how to tie warmwater flies and it's another to know how to adequately cast them. But, the warmwater angler has to know how to properly use those tool if he is going to be successful taking bass, pike, and panfish. And, there where this neat little volume comes in.

Cliff does a great job of explaining how to fish warmwater lakes in various circumstances and in various situations including cover, structure, edges, light variables, and seasons.

The book also contains a set of four beautiful color plates of Panfish Flies, Surface Flies for Bass, Pickerel, and Pike, Mid-Depth Flies for Bass, Pickerel, Pike, Crappies, and Yellow Perch and Bottom Flies for Bass, Pickerel, Pike, Crappies, and Perch.

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The Sunfishes - A Fly Fishing Journey of Discovery by Jack Ellis

Published by Abenaki Publishers, Inc. - P.O. Box 4100 - Bennington, VT 05201

This hard cover first edition, published in 1993, sold out quickly. A revised second edition was printed in 1995. The reason it sold out was because it is a classic.

East Texas angler Jack Ellis began his warmwater writing career by publishing a series of articles on how to fish for bass and "bream" in American Angler magazine. The articles were outstanding and this book is too.

The eight chapters in the book cover much information never before published in warmwater fly fishing books. The chapters titles are self-explanatory. They include The Sunfish Clan, The Waters, Bream on the Dry, The Rest of the Menu, To Sink or Not to Sink, The Bass and Bream Delemma, the Bream-Fisher's Fly Box, and Conclusions and Predictions.

The Fly Box chapter contains a number of Jack's favorite flies, including his famous Fathead Diver and Fence Rider Bug, their recipes and tying instructions.

This book is more beautifully illustrated than the revised edition which was illustrated by a different person. If you can find a copy in the used book market, buy it. You won't be sorry.

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The Sunfishes by Jack Ellis

Published by Lyons&Burford, Publishers - 31 West 21st Street - New York, NY 10010

This is the Revised, Augmented, and Redesigned New Edition of Jack Ellis's book "The Sunfishes - A Flyfishing Journey of Discovery." On the book cover along with an illustration of a Redear Sunfish, is the statement that the book covers fly fishing techniques, tackle, and new thinking for the pursuit of America's favorite gamefish.

Everything that was covered in the first edition is coverd here plus a bit more. If you enjoy fly fishing for bluegills and other members of the sunfish family as much as I do, than you must have this book. Buy It!

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Bassin' with a Fly Rod by Jack Ellis

Published by Mountain Pond Publishing, P.O. Box 797 - North Conway, NH 03860

Dick Stewart, author of "Bass Flies" and Co-Author of "Flies for Bass and Panfish" had this to say on the back cover of the book. " Bassin' With a Fly Rod" is more than a "how-to" book, although most fisherman can gain much practical information from it's pages. It's a book about the origins, the traditions, the environment and the enjoyment of largemouth bass fishing with a fly rod on warmwater lakes, ponds, and rivers....Familiarity with the information presented here is critical to the understanding of modern fly fishing for bass, and this book points to a direction for fly rod anglers. Not only that, it can help all of us catch more bass.

The book also contains beautiful illustrations and step-by-step instructions for tying some of Jack's favorite bass flies inluding the Texas Chugger, the Grinnel Fly, the Hairy Mouse Slider, The Marabou Muddler, and Lester's Jointed Diver.

"Bassin' with a Fly Rod" definately belongs in every serious warmwater angler's library.

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Bass Bug Fishing by William G. Tapply

Published by Lyons&Burford, Publishers - 123 West 18th Street - New York, NY - 10011

Bill Tapply is a long time contributor to American Angler and Fly Tyer magazines. He is also the author of several sporting books and mystery novels.

Not since the famous fly fisherman Joe Brooks wrote "Bass Bug Fishing" in 1947 has there been a book exclusively devoted to bug fishing for bass. Until now, that is!

Here is what former "Fly Tyer" editor Art Scheck had to say about the book. "Bill Tapply has given us the best book yet on this uniquely American and most satisfying type of fly fishing. Bass Bug Fishing tells you everything you need to know to catch large and smallmouth bass on top, provides an excellent history of the sport, and teaches you how to build bass bugs---and does it all in Tapply's characteristically strong, lucid prose. Anyone who fly fishes for bass, or would like to, should have a copy of Bass Bug Fishing."

Bill provides color photos and tying directions for ten of his favorite top-water flies including his fathers's famous "Tap's Bug" and Roy Yates's Deacon, an old-time deer hair fly that's been around since the early part of the last century.

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Beyond Trout - A Flyfishing Guide by Barry Reynolds and John Berryman

Published by Johnson Publishing Company - 1880 South 57th Court - Boulder, CO 80301

This is the second book by the authors of the well known book "Pike on the Fly."

This book contains chapters on fishing for warmwater species ( Walleye and Tiger Muskie) that often are overlooked in other books. The book also discusses methods and flies for taking sunfish, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, northern pike, and carp.

There are color plates of the flies that they use to take the species previously mentioned but no tying instructions.

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Smallmouth Fly Fishing by Tim Holschlag

Published by Smallmouth Angler Press - 2309 Grand Street NE - Minnneapolis, MN 55418

Next to Harry Murray (Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass) Tim Holschlage is probably the best know Smallmouth fly Fishing author in the country. His now out of print book, Stream Smallmouth Fishing, published in 1990 was a classic on small water smallmouthing.

All 336 pages of Smallmouth Fly Fishing is packed with the best techniques, flies, and destinations that every serious smallmouth angler should know.

The book is actually three books in one with sixteen chapters devoted to comprehensive instruction on fishing for smallmouths in every situation, fourty of the best smallmouth flies and how to use them, and finally one-hundred top smallmouth fly fishing destinations around the country. And, there are more than three-hundred photos and illustrations to boot.

The fly plates containing the fourty flies are beautifully photographed and there is also an artistic rendering of each fly accompanied by the fly's description and recipe. Unfortunately, the step-by-step tying instructions are lacking but with the information provided most tiers should be able to figure out how to tie them.

I wouldn't be without this book and neither should you. You can order the book directly from Tim on the web at:

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Warmwater Fly Fishing by Jeff Currier

Published by Jeff Currier - P.O. Box 3548 - Jackson, WY 83001

This book was written, photographed and illustrated by the author. It contains more than 50 color photographs, twelve knots-illustrated step by step, more than twenty-five full color fish painting for field identification, and twenty favorit fly patterns with recipes.

You can order this book by by calling Jeff at (307) 733-3270

Copyright 2024 Ward Bean, Council Bluffs, IA, All rights reserved.