Thursday, October 8, 2009

Trout Streams and Great Lakes Steelhead - New Books!

I wanted to do a quick review of two new books that we just got in at The Northern Angler. One is a revision and one is a totally new book.

I'll start with Twelve Classic Trout Streams in Michigan by Gerth E. Hendrickson and fully revised by Jim DuFresne. The last update to the original book was done in 1994 so it was time and the new version does not disappoint. As in the original, the book covers 12 of the state's best known rivers with full descriptions, maps, and access points for each. The new edition adds quite a lot of interesting "sidebar" information that, while not specifically helpful in catching fish definitely added a nice element to the book. Some examples are historical notes about Grayling, John Voelker, Trout Unlimited, the Adams fly, and much more, I found that them good reading and not a distraction. Of course, accrss points do change and the book has made the updates and included GPS coordinates for all of the named public access points in the book - very cool. One last upgrade that might sound trivial but it is certainly not is the addition of the color blue to the maps, I know, it sounds silly but by simply making the rivers blue, the maps are significantly easier to read and follow. I had always recommended some of the other guidebooks ahead of 12 Classic Trout Streams in the past but this new version is now on the 'must have' list for anyone interested in Michigan trout fishing. Bonus - the book is new enough that it has the correct 803 W Front St address for The Northern Angler. Softcover, 314 pages, $18.95

The next new arrival is Great Lakes Steelhead Salmon & Trout by Karl Weixlmann. I hadn't heard any advance press on the book but here it is. This is Great Lakes Steelhead, not specific to Michigan and I think that probably makes it a more useful book with the explosion of the Lake Erie fishery in recent years. Unlike some previous books, this is not a 'where to' guidebook, there are no river maps or access points. The book starts with a description of the fish species, then moves on to seasons - how to/where to find and catch fish all year round. Chapter three is reading the water with some nice diagrams and photos, I should note that the book is full of great pictures, some real top notch photography. Up to this point the book is a nice basic overview, hardcore steelheaders may not find much new but I think the novice will find it very helpful. Once we reach chapter four - Flies, the book really shines. Nearly 40 pages long, the flies chapter includes solid pictures and full recipies for every type of steelhead fly - streamers, spey flies, wets, some creative egg patterns, nymphs, and tube flies from some of the region's best tyers. The techniques chapter is very helpful, especially if your Great Lakes steelheading experience to this point has been restricted to the "chuck and duck" method. A section on tackle and gear followed by a quick ethics/environmental section round out the book. I would highly recommend it to the beginner or someone considering getting into steelhead fishing and also think that for the experienced steelhead angler, the flies chapter alone is probably worth buying the book for. As a shop owner I have seen the steelhead fishery continue to develop and gain popularity and I would say that this book is a great resource for that market. Softcover, 180 pages, $29.95.

Tight lines and good reading!

The Northern Angler

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