Book Review: Modern Trout Fishing by Boots Allen

Its no secret to those who know me that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to books. I read lots of them. When I look at my monthly budgets, I have to limit my spending in the book category more often than most people, and that’s just something I’ve had to learn to deal with. So naturally, when it comes to fly fishing I’ve got a pretty serious collection. I’ve given a lot of my books away to new anglers, and some of the classics I’ve bought, given away, and re-bought. Right away when I received my copy of “Modern Trout Fishing: Advanced Tactics & Strategies for Today’s Fly Fisher” by renowned Jackson, Wyoming guide Boots Allen, I knew it was one that I would want to share with my fellow anglers.

If you fish in the west, you need this book. An excellent perspective on fishing from a modern master.

Boots Allen is a third generation fly guy, and his guiding chops are bolstered by his three-time high scores in the annual Jackson Hole One-Fly Contest, among other accolades. He’s the kind of guide you want to hire: knowledgable, skilled, and incredibly eager to pass on his knowledge to his guests. Lucky for readers, this same straightforward skill comes through in his writing, and this is one of those rare books that work for beginners and experts alike.

The book itself, produced by Lyons Press, is a study, easy size and holds up to the coffee table toss and numerous skimmings that come from having it around a fly shop.

Boots explains things like holding water and trout senses with ease, and in clear chunks of information that can be immediately put into use when you’re at the river. Nymphing, dry fly fishing and streamer fishing are all touched on, and these aren’t just rehashes of the same old standard advice.  Instead, Boots puts his more than 30 years of guide experience into explaining new approaches to these techniques and does it well. Toss in a few guide patterns and some excellent further resources and you’ve got a great book for any angler to keep around.
Of particular interest to me, and something that is rare in the fly fishing book category is Boot’s care to address the conservation issues that are crucial for the continuation of our sport in the west. An afterword dedicated to these subjects makes a great argument toward why these things should matter to anyone who swings a fly rod. In short, you need this book on your shelf.
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