Learning to fly fish is not an easy thing to do. There are so many different angles to get to grip with in fly fishing, from the casting to matching the hatch, different techniques, and lots more.
Fly fishing also changes a lot when you target different species; for example, saltwater and freshwater fly fishing are miles apart regarding the environment and the tactics you need to use for different targets.
Time on the water plays a huge role when trying to improve your fly fishing but doing so with some knowledge found in the pages of fly fishing publications is key. Finding the right one, however, can be quite hard, but I am here to make it a bit easier.
Join me as we look at some of the top reads on traditional fly fishing and saltwater fly fishing that will take you to the next level.
If you are looking for other categories of fishing books, check out the links below for the type of fishing book you are interested in.
This book covers everything one needs to know about starting a career in fly fishing. It starts by discussing how to choose the right rod and reel and set it up correctly and then takes you into the art of casting.
Learning to cast is one of the hardest things in fly fishing, and through the excellent explanations and clear diagrams, this book makes it a lot easier for a beginner to get their head around.
It also includes valuable information about choosing the right fly at the right moment and for different species. You will also learn about fly fishing tactics on rivers, lakes, and saltwater.
This is the perfect book to start fly fishing with as it covers all the basics of every fly fishing situation you might find yourself in. But, it is for beginners only, as experienced fly anglers will already know a lot about the topics covered.
Excellent for beginners
Well written and easy to learn from
Clear photos and diagrams that are easy to follow
It covers all the basics from tackle selection to setup
Includes fly choice and matching the hatch
Covers rivers, lakes, and saltwater fly fishing
Teaches different casting methods
A bit too basic for experienced fly anglers
Author: Tom Rosenbauer & Orvis
Type: Paperback, Spiral
Kindle Availability: Yes
Getting Started at Fly Fishing for Trout
Pretty much every fly angler starts off fly fishing for trout and for obvious reasons. Trout are readily available to catch, no matter where you live in the world, and there is usually a trout stream or a lake not far away.
Trout are not such easy fish to get one’s head around, and this book does a great job of explaining how to catch them and bridging the gap into a trout’s world.
You will learn all about types of tackle, fly choice, matching the hatch, reading the water, and different casting techniques. Plus, you can adapt your tactics to match how trout behave in different seasons and conditions.
It is very well written, easy to understand, and has great diagrams that make absorbing valuable information as easy as possible.
Designed for beginners
A strong focus on trout only
It takes you through all the basics
It covers tackle choice and why
Includes casting practices
It helps you understand trout behavior.
Talks about fly selection and matching the hatch
Clearly written and explained with diagrams and photos
Not for experienced anglers
Only covers trout
Author: Allan Sefton
Kindle Availability: Yes
Pocket Guide to Matching the Hatch
Once you understand where fish hold, how to read water, and how to cast, the next key to success is fly selection.
Choosing the right fly at the right time and fishing it the right way is all it takes to catch a trout, but it is not easy since trout have such a wide variety of food sources available, and they are picky creatures.
The “Pocket Guide to Matching the Hatch” is an amazing book that puts pictures of the insects trout eat next to pictures of the flies that imitate them. This allows you to see what is hatching on the river and immediately learn what insect it is and what fly is best to match.
It also goes into the life cycles of the insects, geographical distribution, and seasonality. This means you can work out what flies are hatching, when and where you are fishing, pick a fly that matches, and hopefully, the trout will eat.
This little fishing pocket book fits perfectly in your fishing bag, so you can always have it on hand to learn what the fish are eating and how to match the hatch.
Very helpful when trying to match the hatch
Clear pictures of insects next to the fly that imitates them
It takes you through the life cycles of insects
Discusses geographical distribution and seasonality of hatches
This book is exceptionally well laid out, enabling you to build your fly fishing skills as the sections progress slowly. It starts with explaining different casting techniques with excellent diagrams, then how to present a fly well, and onto reading the water.
Once you have these steps figured out in your head, which the book makes easy, it tells you everything you need to know about rigging, selecting the right fly, and catching fish.
It is also full of excellent tips around wading, fighting fish, choosing tackle, and more.
You couldn’t ask for more information to start fly fishing with, and the way it is laid out makes learning everything as easy as possible. It is an awesome book for beginners!
Very comprehensive book
It uncomplicates fly fishing
Great for beginners
It covers casting and presentation
It helps you learn to read the water and find fish
Includes rigs, fly selection, and tactics
It also discusses wading, gear, how to fight fish, and more
Easy to understand and visualize
Basic for experienced anglers
Author: Kirk Deeter and Charlie Meyers
Kindle Availability: Yes
Lords of the Fly: Madness, Obsession, and the Hunt for the World Record Tarpon
It describes a very unique event in fly fishing when five of the best fly anglers on the planet (Lefty Kreh, Stu Apte, Ted Williams, Tom Evans, Billy Pate) decided to try and break the world record for tarpon on fly.
Based out of Homosassa, Florida, they came together each year to chase records, and the book tells the complete story, from the amazing fishing tails on the water to the daily socializing and all the bad things that their obsession carried with it!
It is a true take on the obsession with fly fishing, just how deep it runs, and how it affects the lives of fly fishermen.
The book isn’t just about the story; it also talks a lot about the tarpon as a species, its environment, and how it is impacted.
An amazing story
Excellent insights into tarpon fishing
It teaches you about the obsession with fly fishing
Discusses a moment in fly fishing history
A good insight into saltwater fly fishing
Not a learning book as much
Author: Monte Burke
Type: Paperback, Hardcover
Kindle Availability: Yes
Fly Fishing in Saltwater
Written by Lefty Kreh, the master himself, “Fly Fishing in Saltwater” is one of the most comprehensive books on saltwater fly fishing one can find.
Fly fishing in saltwater is very different from freshwater. Everything from the environment to the flies, tactics, and cast will be new to freshwater fly anglers, and Lefty does a great job of bridging the gap.
The book teaches you the rigs, knots, flies, and how to cast in saltwater and covers everything from wade fishing to boat fishing, plus pretty much all the species you can target. Whether it is bonefish, permit, cobia, or even billfish, this book gives you the inside track!
Excellently written and easy to learn from
Features clear diagrams and pictures
It covers how to cast in saltwater
Includes info on all saltwater species from bonefish to billfish
Great information about tackle, leader, and fly choice
It teaches you how to wade the flats and fish from a boat
Good info on the knots needed for saltwater
The perfect book to start saltwater fly fishing with
Not much for experienced saltwater anglers to learn
Author: Lefty Kreh
Kindle Availability: No
Thank you very much for reading my article. I hope you enjoyed it and have found the best nonfiction book on fly fishing for you. Whether you are a beginner, want to learn more about matching the hatch, or are ready to go saltwater fly fishing, there is a book featured for you.
You can read more on different types of fishing books. Check out the below links for the top reads in fish books.
Growing up fly fishing on trout streams in Kenya and the UK, Jamie has traveled the world in search of fly fishing nirvana. From his time managing bonefish lodges in the Bahamas and running fishing safaris in East Africa, all the way to guiding on the flats of Seychelles, there aren't many species or environments he hasn't experienced firsthand.