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A Classic on Fly Fishing

Kris Neely Author Interview

First Steps to Fly Fishing is the definitive book on fly-fishing and provides invaluable, and actionable, advice readers can use to the fishing technique or begin their fishing journey. Why was this an important book for you to refresh for modern readers?

There were a couple of reasons. First, the original book was considered one of the “go-to” books on fly fishing in its day. Its patient, step-by-step approach to one’s first foray into this sport/art is worth preserving in a world where many times people automatically believe that text from a hundred years ago must ipso facto be bad, inaccurate, outdated, or just plain wrong. Not the case here. The basics of fly fishing 100 years ago have, to a high degree of correlation, synergy with those of today (i.e., e.g. to catch fish you need to know how to read the fish, the water, the weather, the flora, and the fauna. How to present the fly, and so on.) So a proven voice from yesterday, matched with updated tech information from today to me represents value for today’s reader/fisherman.

What were some goals you set for yourself as the editor in updating this book?

To preserve a classic on fly fishing for today’s audiences while at the same time updating the work to reflect contemporary technologies and definitions in particular. To preserve as much as practical, Michael’s ‘voice’ — so as much as I could I left his words and phrasing alone unless my copy editor and I were concerned it might cause confusion for a contemporary reader.

What was something that was new to you and that you learned from this book while working on it?

I wasn’t aware just how pervasive the use of horsehair and silk was in fishing back in the day. On the other hand, bamboo rods were quite the thing back then and these days they are back-in-style — back to the future, as it were.

What were some parts of the book that were included specifically for the modern audience, and what were parts that needed no revisions?

There is quite a bit of new material in this book. Just a quick list of the new parts would include:

  • The History of Fly Fishing
  • The images of the flies
  • The introduction by noted Fly Fishing expert Joshua Bergan
  • The period-specific advertisement images
  • The basic fly fishing knots and loops illustration
  • All of the content on the contemporary fly collection list
  • The Glossary of Fly Fishing

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Fishing with the basics: a rod, a reel, some line, and an artificial “fly” that imitates a fish’s prey is the very definition of fly fishing. And its history is, well, historical tracing its way back to at least the year 200! Today’s technology has no doubt improved the quality and durability of the equipment and materials of fly fishing, but the basics of the art of fly fishing have remained largely the same.

In 1924, Michael Temple wrote what for decades was the ‘bible’ on learning how to fly fish: “First Steps in Fly Fishing.” Now Cresting Wave Publishing has updated this classic for the 2020s! With an introduction by noted fly fishing expert and author Joshua Bergan, and additional material from Editor Kris Neely, “First Steps in Fly Fishing” is now the definitive book for your budding fly fisher.

First Steps to Fly Fishing

First Steps to Fly Fishing: The 1924 Classic Updated for Today by [Michael Temple, Kris Neely]

Nothing is as great as learning a little history about something before getting to the main content in the book. First Steps to Fly Fishing takes us back to 200 B.C., describing fly fishing as one of the most challenging, artistic and aesthetic forms of fishing. Their description of fly fishing make it look like an art where one has to use special techniques. Fly fishing may not be a new method of fishing, but fishermen today keep looking for ways to make it appear sophisticated. When writing about this kind of fishing between the years 1500 and 1800, the authors quote iconic figures in history, scholars and historians who have written about fly fishing. The narratives in the book are supported by historical writings and documents that are still used for reference today.

To help the readers familiarize with the main subject in First Steps to Fly Fishing, the authors include fun facts, historical evidence along with explaining the importance of fly fishing. The first chapter of the book is about rods, reels, line and other equipment. One good thing about this book is that the authors don’t just mention the equipment; they go into detail, talking about the pros of using the mentioned equipment, the challenges fishermen faced and how some equipment have evolved. The content in the book is evergreen. First Steps to Fly Fishing makes one appreciate antique things and classics.

Do you want to know how to fish like an expert? Is fishing a hobby that you want to develop? Do you want to learn about different fishing styles and how significant they are? Then this is the book that you need. The chapters on how to fish, where to fish and when to fish are eye opening and make fishing feel like the fun an enjoyable activity that it is. Authors Michael Temple and Kris Neely’s tone in the book is encouraging. Their words are stirring and give one the drive to not only keep on fishing but to also engage in other hobbies and activities that they love. One can read the enthusiasm in the author’s text and the love they have for fishing.

There are also stories in the book that have a personal touch, allowing readers to connect with the authors on a deeper level. First Steps to Fly Fishing is an illuminating instructional guide that provides fantastic tips and pointers about sports fishing, and how to go about implementing the concepts you have learned. First Steps to Fly Fishing provides a lot of great advice that is easy to understand and actionable. Perfect for anyone headed for the great outdoors.

Pages: 138 | ASIN: B08946S6ZZ

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