Last year I was roaming through a local fly shop and came across their book section. While perusing the available titles one in particular jumped out at me. Sight Fishing For Trout By Landon Mayer. The title caught my interest to start with and after purchasing the book and going home and reading it cover to cover multiple times I have picked up more than a few nuggets of wisdom that I use whenever I am on the water.
The nuggets of wisdom that I have found are scattered throughout this concise tome. Some of the most interesting points I found were at the beginning of the book in the opening chapters. Before the author even remotely gets into the hook-and-line of the material he points out the necessary equipment besides your eyes to become adept at spotting fish. Once you have gathered the appropriate equipment Mr. Mayer quickly dives into different environmental scenarios to start training yourself in the art of sight fishing. And the key to sight fishing according to Mr. Mayer? Practice, practice, practice!!!
The next few chapters focus on specific visual cues that you will find helpful in your fish spotting endeavors and will definitely help to avoid spooking the fish that you will be stalking consistently with these techniques. Strategically placed throughout the entire book you will find gorgeous, high quality graphics, both drawings and photographs illustrating key points in the text. The images are of such quality that if you don't have immediate access to a stream or river you can still work on your observation skills until you can get to the real water.
Once you have learned the cues to look for, Mr. Mayer gives an illuminating description of the equipment that will improve your site fishing success. Following Mr. Mayer's tips will give you a solid grasp on the science and dynamics of many sight fishing techniques using the correct equipment. Knowing these details will help you in the selection process of all that equipment that you will be potentially using for a day of sight fishing.
Mr. Mayer then gives you a virtual guide trip on the river at this point and goes over an aspect of fly fishing that a large number of anglers tend not to pay attention to. Stealth is something that many anglers don't seem to use and Mr. Mayer makes sure to point out the fact that trout can be found in places you would not necessarily think to look. Observe the water and actively seek out any feeding fish with your eyes even before you enter the water or present a fly on the water. Mr. Mayer also gives illuminating details on how to approach the water in differing conditions.
And definitely study the chapter on rise forms and how to read them. I found this to be a great chapter for my own edification. In clear images and descriptions the angler will see what each rise form will look like in action. Learning these rise forms I can tell you with complete confidence that you will know what part of the water column your target will be feeding in thus increasing your catch rate.
As an assistance to the reader Mr. Mayer dedicates a number of chapters to different fly styles and and their associated casts and even Mr. Mayer's favorite rigs for each fly style. The rig details are clear and concise enough that anyone should be able to build similar rigs for their own stock.
Having hopefully put the tricks and techniques Mr. Mayer has put forward in the proceeding chapters the readers will advancing at lightning speed in their ability to sight fish. Mr. Mayer offers a chapter on seeing the fight and using all the techniques to successfully land a fish. I have used these techniques in my personal fishing endeavors and can vouch for their productiveness.
And last but not least Mr. Mayer gives a short missive on fishing with a buddy. Let me make it clear that this not some diatribe on why you should have a fishing buddy with you all the time. (Not that I don't disagree with the fact that it is probably safer, but that is besides the point here.) What Mr. Mayer does do is point out that you can use all of the techniques described earlier in the book with not just one set of eyes but two. And from testing Mr. Mayer's theories in person I wholeheartedly agree with them and have seen them in action.
In conclusion, if you really want to get good at sight fishing then this is the book for you. I wouldn't suggest reading this book in a night and trying to use everything immediately but I would definitely say take your time to study this book in detail. Work on each technique building from the basics to the more advanced and your fishing will improve exponentially. And above all practice, practice, practice.
Now hurry up and get yourself a copy and start catching fish using your eyes not just a hook!!!
You can purchase this book from Barnes and Noble
or from your local fly shop.
Labels: Book Review, Landon Mayer, Sight Fishing For Trout