Review by Steve Raymond
The Orvis Pocket Guide to Fly Fishing for Striped Bass and Bluefish
by Lou Tabory
_The Orvis Pocket Guide to Fly Fishing for Bonefish and Permit
by Jack Samson
The Lyons Press
123 W. 18th St.
New York, NY 10011
Hardcover; $16.95 each
OK, so you’ve hooked a striper and you’re not sure what to do next. Just reach into your pocket, pull out The Orvis Pocket Guide to Fly Fishing for Striped Bass and Bluefish and turn to page 41. You’ll find the answer there.
Just kidding, of course. But you could stuff either or both of these little guidebooks in your pocket and consult them while fishing, though it’s probably a better idea to read them at home before you go. That way your pockets and hands will be free and your brain preprogrammed with valuable advice.
Lou Tabory and Jack Samson, both grizzled saltwater fly-fishing veterans, have teamed up with the Orvis Co. in these two little books to offer brief, to-the-point instruction on the pursuit of four popular fly-rod species. Each book covers tackle, casting techniques, where and how to find fish, types of flies and how to fish them, boat-fishing and wade-fishing techniques, and lots of other good stuff – as much, in fact, as you’d expect to find in a much bigger book. They also have lots of color photos (although there’s a conspicuous blank space on page 68 of Tabory’s book where a photo inadvertently was left out).
Tabory sticks single-mindedly to the subject, while Samson occasionally wanders off the point and drops names like a small-town telephone directory. He also takes aim at Bahamian guides: ”The most surly and noncommunicative guides in the world are in the Bahamas,” he writes. ”It is probably our own fault for spoiling them all these years with large tips for less-than-adequate performance. We should know better.” C’mon, Jack, tell us how you really feel!
If these two books suffer a common flaw, it’s their failure to say anything about angling etiquette – is there a conspiracy to avoid this subject? – a serious omission for any instructional book in these days of crowded fishing waters. But in most other particulars, these two little volumes are on the mark. They won’t make you an instant expert on stripers, bluefish, bonefish or permit, but they’ll surely get you pointed in the right direction.