By V. Paul Reynolds
By V. Paul Reynolds
Listen. When you do what I do, you build up quite a collection of books about hunting and fishing. Often they are sent to you as complimentary offerings by book publishers looking for a favorable review. Although not all of them get reviewed by me, most of them do get read. My office bookshelves are festooned with fishing books.
The best ones wind up on the top shelf, for easy access when I am looking for a fishing fact or probing around for a writing topic. Fishing books by Bob Mallard, of which there are now five, get top billing on my bookshelf.
His latest book is a winner! Titled, “Fly Fishing Maine,” it is his best work to date. This is what the dust cover promises in this book: “ This guide to the state’s best fly fishing covers rivers, streams, ponds and lakes, and saltwater, also includes extensive information on backcountry ponds and other out of the way places.”
To create a marketable fishing book in this era of fishing book hyper competition you need a unique approach, a lot of useful information and skillful writing. “Fly Fishing Maine” hits all of these chords with harmony, balance and a cadence that is just right. For me the essence of the book’s appeal is, not only Mallard’s grasp of his subject and his uncommon intellect, but the collective contribution of local experts who intimately know Maine’s best waters.
In this book 20 different outdoor writers and fishing guides walk you through their favorite fishing waters, sharing history, fishing tips and so much more. For example, Dennis LaBare writes about Grand Lake Stream. “In the late afternoon, catch the spinner fall. A #14 rusty spinner will get the job done. Shortly after there is a solid evening Sulphur dun, Pale Evening dun, take your pick.”
You get the idea. Most of us realize that Maine is a one-of-a-kind treasure trove of game fish waters and remote trout ponds that hold wild native brook trout. This book underscores that reality. If I had it to do over again as a young man, I would quit my job, become a trout bum and spend the spring and early summer traveling about Maine with a fly rod, a one man tent and a copy of this book.
Of course, the bonus in this book is Bob Mallard’s comprehensive reporting about Maine’s angling history, fish species and conservation. Mallard, who is founder and president of the Native Fish Coalition and often called the “trout evangelist,” manages to keep an even strain on his known capacity to sermonize about the folly of stocking over native fish. He addresses Maine fisheries science in the epilogue. He reports the good news and the bad news,”No section of this book was tougher for me to write than this one. I straddle a line between avid angler and wild native fish advocate, and what I fish for is not always what I advocate for.”
“Fly Fishing Maine” is published by Stackpole Books. Autographed books can be purchased for $34.95 at https://bobmallard.com/product-category/books/
The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He is also a Maine Guide and host of a weekly radio program “Maine Outdoors” heard Sundays at 7 p.m. on The Voice of Maine News-Talk Network. He has authored three books. Online purchase information is available at www.sportingjournal.com.