Fly Fishing Books and Videos

Fish Eye Video Volume 3

Get Bent: Fish Eye Video Issue 3

by Burl Productions

A Strong Finish to the Fish Eye Trilogy

Get Bent offers plenty of rod bending material - translation: lots of big, juicy trout. The jazz track accompanying this section almost keeps pace with the video action on screen. This opening moves with rhythm and energy. A video mosaic of rivers I recognized like the East Fork of the Carson, the Truckee (appears to be footage from Fish Eye #2) with some of the usual faces which Mikey has fished with - including an eight year who takes a rainbow on a dry fly. It wraps up with another youngster Loren Elliott hooking and landing a 20 inch rainbow on the East Fork of the Carson.

The next chapter features Loren exclusively... hooking fish, after fish, after fish. No question, the kid already shows he has the knack for this sport. I was impressed by how he makes fighting a fish look so easy. Pay close attention and watch how easily he hooks, manages his line and brings these fish to net. (And if you listen closely you'll hear Mikey whisper "Leave it." after Loreen lands his fly on the water.) For a thirteen year old, I'm confident he would make guys three times his age look like the newbie.

Don't be surprized if you have already seen the next segment. A version of this video was posted to just about every fly-fishing blog/web site known to man. I happened across it on It's probably one of the best video-essays out there which takes on the questions: Why do I fish? And for Mikey, it's a combination of elements which he expresses well both visually and verbally in this piece.

Under the heading: Never let a friend catch you on camera while you lie to your boss, girl friend, etc. to take off fishing. Kevin - I hope you boss doesn't get a copy of FishEye 3 for Christmas. It's a familiar feeling - us anglers all know we have a higher calling. This calling goes way beyond work, our wives or girlfriends and will ocassionally ask us to pick up the phone and call in sick. The video bounces around with Kevin Price fishing a couple of spots on the North Fork of the Feather River and Davis Lake (pre-pike eradication). Quick-cuts, and high-energy music keep the segment purely in the category of "fish-porn."

Now, Mike takes us to one of my favorite High Sierra still-waters of all time - Heenan Lake. The instrumental surf music is another piece that works well. Situated just below Monitor Pass, the lake setting is as uniquely beautiful as the Lahontans in its water. The video is soulful and doesn't exaggerate the kind of angling experience this lake has to offer. I would be surprized if Mikey needed more than 2 days to get the kind of footage he exposes here. A couple of references for Heenan Lake and Lahontan Cutthroat will help you appreciate what it's all about.

No surprise this great work hour long video finishes with two cutthroats having sex... porn in it's true form.

Fish Eye Video Volume 2

The Season of the Mayfly: Fish Eye Video Issue 2

by Burl Productions

California's Biggest and Brightest Rainbows and Browns Seen Here

The video magazine opens with a twisted tribute to the opening scene in the movie Jaws... instead of a young, female swimming substitue a mayfly. Watch the serenity of a mayfly floating carefree. Then witness the death from below reality when a trout goes on the feed.

Truckee River segment -- As the Truckee River doesn't give up her secrets, so goes the production of this segment from Burl Productions. There is plenty of footage of anglers, anglers catching fish, and anglers catching big fish, but the segment falls a bit short of telling you how to approach this "Tricky River." We get an earful of generalities from Mike Wier and Andy Burk - like come prepared to have a low catch day, the Truckee is complex, Truckee runs require a stealth approach, be patient, etc. The best advice comes from Tim Haddon. Essentially he passes along some wisdom about catching bigger fish on the Truckee that he gleamed from Ralph Cutter. In a nutshell, big trout prefer big meals. And the patterns which Haddon originally tied - the Crayfish as well as an extremely long wooly bugger - prove their worth. You're left with a lasting imagine of Haddon hoisting a big brown out of the Truckee's water which fills the camera frame.

Fishing Hoppers -- In the next chapter of Trout Eye, Wier delivers the goods on how, when and where to successfully fool trout with an artificial grasshopper. The best how-to information comes from another local Tahoe angler, John Copland. He outlines a solid strategy for covering water and important tips on line management to achieve a realistic looking drift of the bug. Ultimately, he too is caught in the act of hooking and just barely landing (due to an undersized net) a 20 plus inch hog.

East Walker River (Nevada side) -- Mike's buddies get together in the winter to fish the East Walker. Lots of fun and clowning around. A goodtime for all--even in a slow snow flurry.

Stanislaus River (Lower Section) -- Mike introduces a couple of fly-fishing buddies to us and then takes off to the next destination - the lower Stanislaus River downstream of Lake Tulloch. Johnny Pares works a nymph behind a submerged tire and pulls out an 18 inch rainbow. This in turn fires up Kevin Price to land his own. It's a short segment (far shorter than the Truckee or E. Walker sections) lasting for all of seven minutes or so. If you are looking for details about this fishery, Fish Eye provides less of a how-to and more of an inviting promotion to try it.

After wetting our appetite for the lower Stan, Mike treats us to an assortment of different locations with anglers all hooking into large brown trout. The music rocks and the reels scream and big fish abound. Then, like a good music composition, the tempo down-shifts into a slow, more thoughtful piece. Mikey Wier talks openly about his passion for fly fishing and especially for brown trout. As a fly angler, it's easy to relate to Mike here. He expresses a clear, uncomplicated vision of why we haunt rivers looking for the true gold of the California hills.

And with Fish Eye, always remember to play-through the credits.

The Trout and the Fly Image The Trout and the Fly
by Brian Clarke
Edition: Paperback

Be the trout. See the bug., March 5, 2006

If you wish to get inside the small, primitive brain of a trout, then read The Trout and The Fly. Most theories passed around in angling circles for how these critters behave is commonly hearsay. The authors, Brian Clarke and John Goddard - both avid fly fishermen, reveal trained and measured observations. More than any sport, fishing lends itself to word-of-mouth and story telling. Clarke and Goddard take a more analytical tact - providing the angler fundamental knowledge of trout behavior.

The book covers a lot of ground - from how to locate fish to how the trout locates the angler. The material is broken into 4 parts: (1) Observation - Man and trout, (2) Vision - Trout and man, (3) Technique - Man versus trout, and (4) Imitation - Man, trout and fly. These authors excel at transporting the reader to the cold, clear underwater world of the trout. And it's in the second part of the book where I found myself absorbed by their words and photos.

Their presentations on how a trout sees (revealed in drawings and photos) I found to be unique and awarding. Fascinating details about their depth/range of vision, their ability to discern color, the visual depiction of dry flies, the appearance of fly lines and leaders are revealed in the book's pages. To support their work, Clarke and Goddard position a camera underwater and set it to model the visual capabilities of a trout (e.g., changing the aperture setting). In ten plus pages containing color photo plates, you are treated to images of what a trout is likely to see. Ranging from how obvious an angler can appear holding a fly rod vertical in the air near the bank of a stream to the importance of wing patterns in imitating aquatic insects... it's all shown in vivid detail. The color photos alone can justify the purchase of The Trout and the Fly!

Fly Fishing for Sharks Fly-Fishing for Sharks : An American Journey by Richard Louv
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

An Angler gives a State-of-the-Union on Angling, December 22, 2002

I decided to purchase this book after reading one of Richard Louv's columns in the San Diego Union-Tribune. His column presented a fresh and thought provoking take on urban grow. I ultimately found the same level of thoughtfulness in Fly-Fishing for Sharks. His writing is first-class and his style is personal but not over-powering. What's most obvious thoughout the book is his fondness for all things angling. The book manages to cover a range of topics that are as varied as the places he visits. You'll find yourself on an adventure in the remote inland areas of Baja California one moment, and at a fly tackle trade-show in Denver the next.

The single knock I would give the book is the focus given to the "fishing industry" and not the average angler. The book isn't so much about the average American who you'll find fishing their weekends away as it is about the well-known personalities who have shaped fishing and promoted the sport.

BeingNothingness Being, Nothingness, and Fly Fishing: How One Man Gave Up Everything to Fish the Fabled Waters of the West
by Michael Checchio
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

A good blend of travelogue, US history, and flyfishing guide, January 16, 2002

This book accompanied me over the Christmas holiday, and proved to be an excellent read. The author's passion for flyfishing is evident thoughout the text. Flyfishing, however, is not the only dimension to this book. Michael Checchio also has a keen sense of place, and shares interesting bits of history, people he meets, and natural settings he visited during his flyfishing junket through the Western United States. It reads similar to a travel journal, so it will appeal to readers who want to know more about the western states.

And of course, its biggest appeal will be to those of us with a passion for flyfishing. To that extent, the book can even serve as basic guidebook to fishing places such as Yellowstone, Henry's Fork, and steelhead waters in Northern California and Oregon. Aftering reading the book, you'll understand why the author quit his well-paid job in New Jersy and moved west."