If you like your fly fishing information chock full of scientific methods, eager to disprove common myths and laced with sarcasm and humor, you'll probably dig Gary LaFontaine. And if you dig LaFontaine, you'll eventually find your way to the Dry Fly: New Angles, his landmark work on fishing a fly that floats. Have you ever wished you could put on a scuba suit, park yourself at the bottom of a pool full of feeding trout and watch your buddies toss various bugs so you can see how the fish react? So did, Gary. And then he did it. Ever wondered how color effects the relative success (or lack thereof) for an attractor pattern? So did Gary. Ever want to color the wings of an adult mayfly metallic silver then drop it into the feeding lane of a rising trout? Okay, maybe not, but Gary did that too. LaFontaine's research led to unique methods for catching trout. His background in science wouldn't allow him to simply take things at face value. Rather, he made it his goal to find out why. And by doing so, he learned more about trout and the bugs they eat than is probably healthy for any one man.
The Dry Fly: New Angles is just what the title implies, a new look at an old way to fish. For a dry fly junkie like me its the next best thing to seeing a trout rise. As we make our way into those first steady hatches of spring, I find myself remembering Gary's study of mayfly imitations, and why the different patterns work when they do. And I find myself wishing Gary hadn't left so soon. By all accounts he was a fantastic guy and his sense of humor shines through every one of his books and makes me wish I could have fished with him, if only for the stories. And, selfishly, I would have loved for him to finish a similar volume on nymphing, and maybe another on streamers.