Wednesday, January 5, 2011
To be sure, each book is highly specialized and written for people who have a base of experience within the sport. The books provide an introduction into the pursuit of tarpon or muskie with a fly rod. From there, the books detail all aspects of fishing the species including but not limited to proper gear, seasons, hooking, fighting and landing. After reading these books you will know the where, when and how for catching either of these sport fish. For instance, I have no experience fishing for muskie. I've never seen one in the wild and I don't believe I've ever fished water that hosted a population of muskie. Nevertheless, after reading Muskie on the Fly I feel as if I have fished for them for years (I feel that way but I understand that reading a book is just a start and not an appropriate substitute for experience). The same is true after reading A Passion for Tarpon. Also, A Passion for Tarpon provides a history of fly fishing for tarpon including entertaining and informative interviews with some of the vanguards of the sport such as Steve Huff and Stu Apte.
Both books have exquisite color pictures and clear writing making each book enjoyable and informative. As a fly tier, I particularly enjoy the flies chapter in Muskie on the Fly, which provides large color photographs of unique flies used in the pursuit of muskie.
That being said, the books have a couple of drawbacks. First, they are expensive as far as books go. Second, they are large hard-cover books. A Passion for Tarpon is 509 pages and Muskie on the Fly is 283 pages (both page numbers include the index). These are not books you want to take with you on your commute. However, if you plan on fly fishing for either tarpon or muskie each of the books will quickly get you up to speed. When pursuing fish as mysterious, difficult and rare as fly caught muskie and tarpon a solid understand of the species and tactics is invaluable.
I recommend both of these books.