Have you always wanted to take up fly fishing but were afraid of being ridiculed during your learning process? Are you afraid of hooking the fly into your ear, eyes or other parts of your body? All beginning flyfishers experience that, but most get over it and go on to become fairly proficient fly fishers and enjoy a most rewarding lifetime of flyfishing.
Many of us learned from a fly caster who said, “Here, watch what I do and you do the same”. He stuck around for a while to give some pointers and then we were on our own. If we really wanted to learn this sport, we stuck with it, practiced a lot and eventually got the hang of it. We learned how to cast the fly not knowing what forces come into play. Somehow, the fly, which weighs virtually nothing, is cast out 20-30 feet. Its magic!
But, if you are one of those persons who doesn’t believe in magic and must understand how things work, there is a book entitled A Treatise, the Art of Casting a Fly. Written by former Great Barrington resident Paul Argentini, it gets into the forces that propel the fly line and attached fly. Argentini meticulously walks the reader through the various steps of fly casting. I mean he really gets into the mechanics of the cast right down to the kinetic energy that travels down the fly line which in turn loads the rod on the back cast (rod dynamics which create potential energy) and then more kinetic energy which propels the line and the fly. There are 10 short chapters which dwell solely on the principals of casting. I truly believe that if the advice which is given in this book is followed, the reader will learn how to fly cast or become a better fly caster.
There are other chapters on fishing equipment, entomology and leaders, tippets and knots. I should caution the reader that there is one section dealing with the tapering of leaders which I take exception with, that being the “X” strength factor of the leaders. The higher the “X” number, the thinner and weaker the leader. (A 3X leader is stronger than a 7X). It is incorrectly stated in the book.
What really drew my attention to this book were the hand-drawn color renditions of the fish and the actual and artificial flies throughout the book. Paul’s wife Vera Argentini is an artist and she did an excellent job creating these renditions. The book cover alone just beckons you to pick it up. You just don’t see hand drawings like this in fishing books anymore. It reminds one of the illustrations in the old fishing books, back in the days before modern photography.
The 76 page soft-cover book, which is published by Sunbury Press, Inc (www.sunburypress.com), sells for $24.95. It would make a nice addition to your fishing library, but I think it belongs on your living room coffee table. I’m sure the pages will quickly become rabbit-eared from use, just like mine.