If you are new to fly-fishing, you may want to pick up a copy of How to Fool Fish With Feathers: The Incompleat Guide to Fly-Fishing by Jon Margolis and Jeff MacNelly. It was published in 1992, so you won’t find in on the shelves at your local bookstores. I’d check Amazon or Ebay; you could probably pick one up for $2 or $3. If you know someone who is even remotely interested in learning how to fly-fish, let them start with this book. Every book on the topic I have read since is a dry as a Adams #16.
This paperback is a quick read. Jon & Jeff are completely hilarious, yet this book is filled with important information for the new angler. You knew Jeff MacNelly from the comic strip Shoe.
Some great quotes from the book:
“Fly fishing is for those who hold that the fun in the race of life is in the running, not just the winning, that existence is its own justification, that a day spent in a stream or a pond with a goal in mind is a joy even if the goal is not achieved, though a greater joy if it is.”
“To ask certain questions is to answer them. The answer to ‘Should we punt?’ is always yes. The answer to “Is that Sinatra or one of the other guys?’ is always one of the other guys. The answer to ‘Is this fly too big?’ is always yes.”
There is an illustration in this book (there are quite a few) that is just perfect. It conveys what type of hat one should wear when beginning to fly-fish. I’ll try to find the image online or I’ll scan it in later.