Fly-fishing Pioneers and Legends of the Northwest

Reviewed by Moon Mullen

If you've ever wanted to feel part of something in this life that is bigger than yourself, this book is for you. The nostalgic history of these anglers will make you proud to call yourself a fly fisher.

Author Jack W. Berryman is a professor and historian. He has provided us with the stories of twenty-three men of the past century who made innovative contributions to fly fishing and conservative efforts on behalf of the water they loved. These contributions were not only to the fisheries of the Northwest, but also to the world.

Many of these legends found fly fishing to be "a way of life" and sought their spirituality on the water. You will find some of these men came to believe in conservation and environmental issues long before there where failing fish stocks and a call to arms to save the environment.

You'll find Oregon's Earnest H. "Polly" Rosborough and Jordan Lawrence Mott III, as well as Thomas "Tommy" Brayshaw (British Columbia), Harry M. Hornbrook (California), Cecil W. "Ted" Trueblood (Idaho), Dan Bailey (Montana), Enos Bradner (Washington) and many more.

As you read about these early Northwest anglers, you'll find yourself washed away to a time and place where innovation on the water was still the norm--a time long before there were light-weight breathable waders, boron rods, and weight forward shooting heads prepackaged and lined up on the walls of an easily accessible pro shop. You'll experience fishing when roads were hard to find--or non existent--not to mention automobiles.

One of the enjoyable aspects of our sport is in the history, and whether you are a newcomer or a seasoned veteran of the long rod, this well-written and thoroughly enjoyable book is a must-have addition to your library. The pictures alone are worth the cost.

Moon Mullen and his wife Monica live in Springfield, Oregon, where they can often be found fly fishing the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.