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Simple Fly Fishing Paperback – 1 May 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Patagonia Books (1 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938340272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938340277
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 24.1 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Therein lies the book's charm. Part straightforward how-to, part back-to-basics manifesto, the volume is also a bit of a sermon that seeks to spread the good word about a centuries-old Japanese technique known as "tenkara" that Mr. Chouinard believes is the hands-down easiest and most pleasurable way to fish. Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Yvon Chouinard, a noted fly fisherman (chosen by "Fly, Rod, and Reel" as Angler of the Year in 2009) and environmentalist, is the founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc. He cofounded, with Craig Mathews, 1 Percent for The Planet, a group of businesses giving back to the environment. He lives in Ventura, CA.Craig Mathews, with his wife, Jackie, is the owner and founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, a retail fly-fishing outfitter based in West Yellowstone, MT. Craig has authored five books on fly-fishing in the western United States and Yellowstone National Park and is renowned as an expert fly fishing guide.Mauro Mazzo is an FFF Certified Master and THCI Casting Instructor, and he writes and photographs on a regular basis for European fly-fishing magazines. He has fished around the globe from the Italian Alps to Himachal Pradesh, from Cuba to the Kola Peninsula. He lives in Milan, Italy.James Prosek is an American artist, writer, and naturalist. Born in Stamford, CT, he is a 1997 graduate of Yale University where he was a member of Manuscript Society. Prosek published his first book in 1996 while studying at Yale. He lives in Easton, CT.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By stanKlem on 23 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pleasant surprise,.. a nice take on fishing uncomplicated,.. realistic and relaxed, free from hyp,.. I enjoyed it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 45 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Minimalist, but effective 8 April 2014
By mikecz - Published on
Format: Paperback
I wish the casting instructions were just a little bit better, and thus I'm taking 1 star off. Actually, I'd give it 4-1/2 stars if I could. After the Foreword and Introduction, we have chapters on "trout and their food", "fly fishing with wet flies and streamers", "fly fishing with nymphs", "fly fishing with dry flies", "fishing situations", and an afterword. If there were a little more time spent on reading water, one could ALMOST learn to fly fish (at least with a tenkara rod) from this book! A determined person with previous stream and river fishing experience might actually pull it off.

I've been following Chouinard since he was making Lost Arrow pitons, skyhooks, and other extreme rock climbing gear - in the 60's. Now we're a little older and tending towards more genteel pursuits, such as fly fishing. As he relates several times in this book, his climbing adventures have often taken him to the "back of beyond" where there have been almost no sport fisherman to EVER wet a line in the rivers and lakes he passed while traveling to and from the climbing area. As Chouinard has aged, he's evidently become more interested in the fishing opportunities than the climbing in remote areas. Most of the (many) gorgeous photos in this book were taken in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, since one of the co-authors, Craig Mathews, is the owner/operator of Blue Ribbon Flies, a fly fishing shop and guide service in West Yellowstone, MT.

The authors spend some amount of time speaking of presentation of your fly at rather short range, often surprisingly near the bank of both rivers and flat water. One of the weirdest "techniques" presented in this book is the idea of "THROWING YOUR ROD!!!!" Yeah, you're not fishing with a rod and reel with a fancy drag system in a tenkara rod setup! It's very like your basic cane pole - the rod, 9-12 feet long (bamboo, fiberglass, graphite, whatever), a 12 to 20 foot line, a 1 to 9 foot leader, and one or more flies. That's it! If you hook a large fish, they seriously suggest that you might let your (hopefully floating) rod go and chase it down the river! See pages, 48, 49, and others!

So, it's at least sort of a fun read, and not too expensive, either.

If your fly tying abilities have gotten to the point that you can tie a credible fly based on a good color photo and a recipe list of the materials to use in the various parts of the fly, there are about 40 fly patterns pictured and described for you to try. Most are wets, nymphs, and emergers, with a few dry flies and streamers thrown in too. Some are quite old standard patterns and some are newer - I suspect all are effective under the right circumstances. A beginning fly fisher would be well served to start out with these flies, even if they are purchased. In fact, a random half or even quarter of these flies will get a person started fly fishing!

Very current stuff.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Really simple fishing system 6 July 2014
By William Moss - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yvon Chouinard lives by a simple life code that could make a big difference if we all would follow just parts of it.
I could never get the hang of Western fly fishing, no great coordination...I had read an article about how Yvon enjoyed Tenkara fishing in Montana, I had never heard anything about this fishing technique, it took a while to locate the gear, which isn't expensive in relation to Western style and it's really simple and quick to I take my fair share of fish from the rivers close to Missoula, Montana.
I purchased this easy to understand book and feel it's helped me to better understand this simple style of fishing that is based on simplicity and not a lot of expensive to love that.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Simplifying Fly Fishing 19 Jun. 2014
By John Turnbull - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, by three seasoned flyfishermen, emphasizes simplicity of fly fishing, but is definitely NOT a book for a beginner. Rather the opposite. The authors make a point of simplicity, and avoiding the temptation to emphasize expensive equipt, rather than technique. This Tenkara rod is the Japanese version of a rod. Short length of line tied on the end, plus a leader. No reel. It has a lot in common with old-time fishing with a cane pole, and a lot of what I remember from childhood, with a bamboo rod, level line, and four feet of mono on the end as a leader. Not a whole lot of emphasis on casting skill, nor the variety of different lines available today for specific situations. Except as an exercise in historical technique, I personally can't see a single advantage to abandoning a reel and adjusting length of line out, and not having the ability to strip in line, to land a fish. All that does is limit one's flexibility moving from place to place, differing distances, and esp in smaller, tighter streams, unless one wants to rerig the rod every time. Nonetheless, there is a lot of very good insight for fly fishing in general. Lots of photos and illustrations, and comments by experts. With today's fly fisherman looking like an equpt-laden fugitive from an Orvis catalog, there is an argument for simplicity !
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great book - great approach to fly fishing 12 Aug. 2014
By Charles T. Kaminski - Published on
Format: Paperback
Interesting book. Bridges the gap between the hardcore Japanese version of Tenkara and the developing western version of the technique. Some of the Tenkara purist will find fault with this book as it is not true to the fundamentalist version of Tenkara. That aside the core message of Tenkara is conveyed - a movement from the gear/gadget driven fly fishing perspective to a simpler version of the sport. Each of the 3 contributing authors provide a piece of the pie and demonstrate that a Tenkara perspective is applicable to mutiple variations of fly fishing. This book shows that one can blend modern techniques with the simplicity of Tenkara and still catch fish...because regardless of what comes out of a fishermans mouth, the intent of fishing is to catch fish. The book is a quick read and provides straight forward guidence to applying Tenkara principles to fishing be it with a Tenkara rod or the standard 9' 5wt fly rod. Note that the title is "Simple Fly Fishing" techniques for Tenkara and Rod and Reel....not "Tenkara fly fishing" etc....This is about simplifying ones approach to fly fishing - Tenkara is identifiied as path but is not the only path offered to the reader.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
As title describes, "Simple" is too simple. 17 May 2014
By RAM - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You won't find very much Tenkara instruction here. In fact, maybe no more than what comes with the purchase of a Tenkara rod, which I have two. If I were a beginning fly fisher, then perhaps I would have a different opinion, but I don't think so. Stories were interesting to read, but nothing exciting. You will have to read each one to pick out the Tenkara (or for that matter rod & reel) instruction.
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