- Hardcover: 248 pages
- Publisher: Stackpole Books; 1 edition (December 8, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780811707411
- ISBN-13: 978-0811707411
- ASIN: 0811707415
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 155 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dynamic Nymphing: Tactics, Techniques, and Flies from Around the World Hardcover – December 8, 2011
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About the Author
George Daniel is a former manager of TCO Fly Shop and the author of the bestselling Dynamic Nymphing (978-0-8117-0741-1). He is the owner and operator of Livin on the Fly, a fly-fishing educational/guide company based near his home in Lamar, Pennsylvania. George also conducts fly-fishing seminars and clinics across the country. He lives on the banks of his favorite trout stream with his wife and two children.
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George is not only a superb angler, he is a superb educator as well. Modern nymphing is not a light topic by any extent of the imagination. There are so many ways to do it and so many fine details to be adjusted that anyone, no matter their angling ability is going to struggle to pass on their understanding. George simply does not seem to struggle with this and wrote what I consider to be the definitive work on the subject.
What I don't like about this book is what I came to love about it. At first, it just doesn't make sense. It seems like it's out of order and a lot of the information irrelevant. George does such a good job describing the minutia of the techniques that you get totally lost in it's contents. So you muscle your way through it, because you know full well this guy knows what he's talking about just from the presentation, you tie up a leader, some nymphs and hit the water. You proceed to fail completely miserably for the next few outings till you finally go back and re-read certain sections that just aren't making sense. But now, with the context of trying it, some of the other stuff is starting to make sense. What seemed like minutia before is now a concrete concept in your head, so the even finer details now stand out. From what I can tell, you basically repeat this process till you...I don't know die I guess.
Which brings me to why this book is great. One of the things I love about hunting and fishing is all this equipment we buy takes US on adventures rather than it being vice versa. Would we have driven 3 hours to the mountain if the fly rod didn't take us there? Most of us don't need encouragement to go fishing, but this book, if you allow it to be, can be an absolute life experience. Sure you were gonna go throw Royal Wulff's for the six time this month, but instead, you maybe wanna try such and such leader on such and such water. There are so many things to try in this book that just experimenting with the concepts could lead you down a lifetime of experimentation. As soon as you feel confident that you've totally mastered the nymphing game, you'll hit some water and have no idea how to fish it. So back to the book you go...If fly fishing is an art, this book is the ultimate inspiration.
You can feel that George wants you to get better. So many angling writers are busy writing silly anecdotes or impressing you with their own angling skill that it can feel overwhelming. The topic of fly fishing can be super intimidating intellectually if you allow it to be and it seems to me that many writers are just trying to bombard you so that you buy more of their books. You just don't get that attitude from George. George isn't some good old boy that screams "BIGGUN!" everytime he hooks a fish. You get the feeling that George really is some kind of an authority on the subject. That he's actually sharing a science with you that he's discovered rather than something he's accomplished with his great talent. His humility on the topic is both forgiving of your own nature to fail on the stream and thus encouraging when you're having a hard day. I think we all know how frustrating a day of fly fishing can be and a writer full of sound and fury rarely talks about how many flies he puts in trees, but George does. He simply makes it okay to fail, because you get the feeling that's how he learned all this. Good old fashion learning the hard way.
Where this book really shines is how encompassing it is. It would be very easy for George, like other current experts on the topic, to pick one single method and try to extend the information out enough to fill a book. Instead, this book covers literally every single nymphing method that I know of in existence. It covers the different tight lining methods plus the where and whens of how to use bobbers. Again, this can freak you out at first because it's so much, but the utility of this is the exact reason you must use this book.
The reason I think we call this game an art is because you learn the basic techniques and then make it your own. No two guys are going to nymph the exact same way. There's going to be all these little subtle variations between what they are doing. What's awesome about this book is it helps you develop those tastes. For example, I started off with the bobber till I understood surface drag. I didn't feel like dealing with those crazy knotted leaders, so I did the tight line, Joe Humphrey's method written up. But then I noticed the drag of the heavy fly line, so I tried the french method. I didn't like the way it cast so I tried the Czech. By doing this, I found a style that kind of uses bits and pieces from all of these. I customized the game to fit my tastes. But in doing so I gained tons of experience in other methods. So now, when I hit the water, I have my primary method, but if it's not working there's no mystery to what adjustments I'm going to make.
My only gripe is that I wished George explained his flies a little more. I think the topic of actual Euronymphs is a topic yet to be fully delved. George spends a chapter explaining the flies a lot, but it will leave you with more questions than you started with. Considering that reading this book is already like taking a sledge hammer to the brain, I think we can overlook this minor detail. It's literally the only thing I don't like.
So yes, this is my favorite fly fishing book ever written. It took my game to the next level and I continue to reference this work multiple times a week throughout the year. George is a master of his craft and he somehow actually captured that in the written form. Combine this with the Modern Nymphing DVD that's out there and you're totally in the game. This is a utility that simply can't be skipped.
Then, I read the book again and began referring to it now and again. I started thinking about flies and fly fishing differently. In short, without abandoning the methodology I learned from the famous veterans of the sport, I realized that I was enriching my knowledge of fly fishing with the help of George Daniel's book. In addition, the book is crafted well and a pleasure to read. It's clear the author is sincere in what appears is his top priority in his work, which is to help you become a better and more informed fly fisher. Ironically, I can say that if I never even use a single principle or approach in his book - doubtful as that may seem - I still I feel much more informed about certain aspects of fly fishing that I feel I just ought to know. It's important to understand what others know, regardless whether you're drawn to it or not, for the sake of building and refining your own knowledge and perceptions.
Thanks George Daniels for writing such a fine and helpful work!