Posted by Literary Titan
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where many times people automatically believe that text from a hundred years ago must ipso facto be bad, inaccurate, outdated, or just plain wrong.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
Posted in Interviews
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