It was almost a throw away book, something someone suggested and I bought, used, for a penny on Amazon. It turned out to be the single most fascinating book about fly fishing I ever bought.
Serious Flyfishing with Survey Results by John Waite. It appears to be a self published treatise on the state of the fly fishing industry in 1998. It certainly is the work of a fellow curmudgeon and crank, though.
John's opinionated, and not afraid to share his feelings on the state of the "elite fly fishing industry." Shit, some of the things he says (and the way he relates them) are downright conspiracy minded batshit crazy level rants, but at the same time, the dude's just fuckin' right.
The man really likes to drive home the beauty of the AFTMA weight designation system, and I have to say after reading this book I've been converted to the clean, intelligent and simple design that they came up with to regulate an entire industry built around "feel." AFTMA isn't perfect, but fuck all if doesn't provide a commonsense starting point.
The author also slips nearly into histrionics when it comes to line tapers, specifically the handsome and powerful Dual Taper. I agree with 99% of him, but man, he's almost religious in his praise of it.
The commonsense approach of John Waite applies to reel selection, knots (sweet babby Jebus, the man hates the fuckin' cinch knot!), leaders, and even fly selection and tying. He definatly lays down the gospel on all of it, although it gets a bit heavy handed at times (see taper comma dual). Another example of this is his high opinion polar bear in flies.
|Polar bear, I guess? WTF do I know. Book's got nicer plates.|
He does make a convincing case for it, and his fly plates are spectacular. Good luck getting the material, although the Internet still has a listing for his shop in Spokane, The Serious Fisherman.
Finally, the last part of the book is what I suppose is the "magnum opus," a comprehensive survey conducted amongst anglers that he deemed worthy (OK, OK, so that's suspect in and of itself, still!). He procded to ask an exhaustive list of questions, then coordinated the results and published the data, plus a heavy dose of the colour commentary from the respondents. The point of the survey was basically the (lost) direction of the industry, and a shameless elitism being promoted by within the "elite fly tackle makers." Yep.
Fuckin 'eh, yep.
So, anyways, I see Amazon's got copies of this guy going from $2 to $20. I'll be honest, its not worth $20, its not even worth $10 unless you carry you cash around in Hefty bags, but its definatly a $2 read. Its a great way to spend a few hours with a cantankerous old guide learning 'bout the good ole days and how everything in the post-The Movie enviroment sucks ass.
|The more we murder for flies the less that drift on ice. Jus'sayin.|
Next week, we'll continue this with regurgitated forum postings about why the fly tackle industry sucks ass and the AFTMA is my own personal Jebus. I promised it a long time ago, but, like, I'm lazy.
Seriously, though. Next week. Or sooner, fuck its actually written already..I just trimmed it off, eh. I originally had an epically long wall of text, but I figured that no one really cares that much.