Friday, May 23, 2008

Streamside Reading: Eddy Country

I have always been interested books dedicated to a particular fishery or region. Its all there: hatches, seasons, access points, maps. I like to immerse myself in it, even if I am only planning a weekend trip. I like to pull them out in the dead of winter and dream about the upcoming season. So with the general season upon us (opening day for Idaho and YNP is tomorrow, Montana opened up last week) here is a rundown of some books about the Eddy's local waters and some that take a little drive (which will probably force you to dip into your life savings to pay for the gasoline this year). The one caveat with any destination literature is that things change, and the information dates quickly, something I have learned through experience more than once.

Because there are so many of these books out there, and because I will likely be spending opening weekend around the house (unless I just can't take it anymore and bust out of here in a cloud of dust and tippet spools), I am gonna break this thing into two parts and give it a thorough once-over.

Okay, on to the links.

  • As far as Madison River books go, I subscribe to the Craig Matthews book. Written with Gary LaFontaine, this book (and several others) were spawned from a collection of audio tapes (the River Rap series, I believe) containing conversations between Gary and some of the west's most well-known guides and outfitters. The Madison book spells out the sections and the seasons pretty well. It also breaks down the Salmonfly and how it affects the entire river. However, it was published before the Epeorous became an important insect on the river so its lacks some information there.
  • Another book from the same series is Lawson's Fly Fishing the Henry's Fork. This book is a little more dated than the Madison River book because the fishing on the Ranch has been so up and down (mostly down) the last few years. But Lawson's knowledge of the insects and the river itself is unparalleled. However the latest edition is currently unavailable through Amazon and I couldn't find a good link to a cheap used copy. A good alternative is Lawson's opus, Spring Creeks, which can only help you on the Hank's Fork.
  • Not to get stuck in a rut, but Bob Jacklin's book (from the same series with Gary LaFontaine) on fishing the Yellowstone in the park is equally good reading. Unfortunately, the bucket biologists who transplanted lake trout into Yellowstone lake have all but ruined the Yellowstone in the park. This book will make you wish for what might have been.

That is it for now. Hopefully I will get to part two before the weekend is out. Good luck on opening day.


  1. Don't forget Reneé Harrop's book, Trouthunter, for the Henry's Fork

  2. Good point, I haven't read the book although I think I have read most of the material when it was published in various magazines. Harrop is the man.