One of fishing's wisest of sages, the indomitable Lefty Kreh, has so authoritatively condensed his art down to science--without losing the art--that when he begins this expansive volume on how to get the fly to the fish with "Some Guidelines for Presentation" he doesn't bother rounding off his list to a falsely neat and packageable 50 guidelines. Kreh deems there to be just 47, so 47 there are. Some are obvious--"Always approach the fish as quietly as possible before you cast"; "If you can see your line in flight, you can make a more accurate cast"; "Never cast farther than is comfortable for you"--while others are quite specific: "Always approach a single fish, or school of fish, from upwind"; "After you dress a dry fly, be sure to remove any oil before you make your next cast"; "When you fish extremely clear waters, switch from bucktail and natural-hair streamer flies to those made from the more transparent synthetic wing materials." The rest of the book riffs on the guidelines in depth, the first half focusing on elements like casting, retrieving, tackle, and wading; the second on how to catch specific species, all with essential illustrations.
This is an absolutely essential and practical guidebook, a how-to for every level of experience. Kreh's talent is his knack for thinking about fishing in a thorough, nuts-and-bolts way; he leaves the more poetic meditations to colleagues like John Gierach, Paul Schullery, and Nick Lyons. The beauty of angling literature, of course, is that there's enough room in the river for both camps, but if you sign up for Lefty's, you're guaranteed to catch more fish. --Jeff Silverman
"What a beauty...it's about every aspect of fly fishing."--Washington Times