Quick and Easy Guide to Warmwater Fly Fishing. (Written, photographed,
and illustrated by Jeff Currier)
a lot to like about this book. But the title, which leads one to believe
this is a beginner's book, is totally inappropriate. This book makes
an important contribution to the warmwater fly fishing literature, and
it's a shame that Mr. Currier (or his advisors) felt it necessary to
couch the title in terms of "quick and easy." This reminds
me of the early days of what is now known as "the fly fishing renaissance,"
when publishers felt that fly fishing was such an arcane topic that
each book about it had to start from zero, assuming no prior knowledge
on the part of the reader. We've obviously gotten past that. But maybe
now there's a perception that books on warmwater fly fishing should
assume that the reader is a beginner. That's too bad. This book is rather
schizophrenic about whether it wants to address the beginner or the
more experienced angler. In my opinion, the gratuitous nods to the beginner
should have been left out. They are both distracting and ineffective.
Jeff Currier is obviously extremely knowledgeable and has a wealth of
fishing experience and a deep love of our sport. Despite an extensive
personal history of living and working in the fly fishing industry in
the American West, Mr. Currier is blessedly devoid of the trout snobbery
that often comes with such a background. In this book, he easily and
naturally accomplishes what Jack Ellis tried so hard to do-to make the
experienced fly fisher see that warmwater fish can be worthwhile and
A chapter is included on exotic warmwater species from around the world.
I must confess that although creatures like peacock bass, pirana, payara,
dorado, etc. are, of course, found in warm water, I question including
them in a book on warmwater fly fishing. But I suppose this does serve
a useful purpose in associating with destination travel fish other than
trout, salmon, or glamorous saltwater species.
The book is full of very valuable information. The description of fly
fishing equipment and its uses is excellent. Perhaps the strongest chapter
is the one titled "Popular Warmwater Species." Important species
within each family grouping are listed, and each description includes
information on geographical range, preferred habitat, foods, recommended
tackle, and appropriate tactics. Another very useful item, often neglected
in books and magazine articles, is "handling concerns." Here
Mr. Currier gives warnings about sharp fins, gill plates, etc.
A chapter on types of water is also included-ponds, lakes, rivers, and
canals. Here, too, we have information on appropriate tactics and tackle.
And again, information is provided on hazards that one might encounter.
This is an excellent approach.
This book, as mentioned previously, tries to make a nod toward the beginner
here and there. A chapter on casting is included, but this will be of
very little use to most readers. A low-intermediate-level caster might
pick up a few helpful tips. But the beginner will find the nine pages
of text and hand-drawn diagrams mystifying, and the more experienced
will find the chapter a ho-hum waste of time and space.
The knot tying chapter is definitely not-for-beginners. Mr. Currier,
probably due to his personal experience with "big game" warmwater
fly fishing, tends to use many knots and connections that are more typical
of saltwater fly fishing. Again, a decision needs to be made about the
target audience for this book. Beginners need the simplest way to do
things, not necessarily the absolute strongest and best. Bimini twists,
whipped loops in the end of the fly line, and shock tippets certainly
have their place in the arsenal of the advanced fly fisher. But they
do not belong in a book that purports to be "quick and easy."
There are also some technical glitches in the book, most notably mislabeled
photographs. Since this appears to be a self-published book, there is
really little excuse for this. Mr. Currier obviously knows the difference
between a bluegill and a redbreast sunfish. Yet photos of bluegill are
labeled as redbreast on pages 17 and 74. This may seem like nit-picking,
but a specialty warmwater book should not contain such errors.
Despite a few problems, this book does represent a significant contribution
to the warmwater fly fishing literature, and any warmwater enthusiast
would be well-advised to consider adding it to his or her personal angling