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Fly Rodding the Coast
No doubt that Ed Mitchell is an authority on coastal fishing. Judging from his book titles alone makes him one of the top experts on the subject.
His 2002 title "Fly Rodding the Coast" is a large volume on the art of fishing from the shoreline. It covers close to all aspects of this type of fishing with the limitations that is forced by the fact that he concentrates on US shores and striped bass.
As many of the visitors on this site knows, I am personally an avid shoreline fisherman, but what you might not know is that I only fished for stripers on a few occasions. My day-to-day shoreline fishing concentrates on totally different species, and Mitchell's ways are not always applicable on my own fishing.
That does not mean that there is nothing to learn in this book.
On the contrary!
Mitchell covers about every aspect of the coastal fishing worth mentioning from reading the water over baitfish and flies to fly casting and fighting the quarry.
He goes into details on many subjects and through extensive text and many B/W illustrations he brings over a wealth of knowledge.
Of the many sections in the book, I personally find the first part the most interesting. There are several chapters on "reading the - " - insert "water", "rip", "points", "man made structures" and much more. Almost a third of the book covers these subjects and are well worth its price alone.
On the other hand I find the chapters on casting, tying knots and a few other subjects much too entry-level to fit in a book together with the excellent first part.
I have criticized books for being too omnipotent before, and I will do it with this one too: there is no reason to teach people to cast in a book on this subject. Even though the author calls the chapter "salt water casting" and aims it at people not used to fighting wind and casting heavy flies, I still find that it would belong better in a casting book and that it is not nearly up to the level of the first third of the book.
This said I still find the overall book well worth its price tag. 20 dollars is not much for a book these days. I actually wish that the publishers had cut off a fourth of the content, added colour to the pages now marred by simple (but good) B/W drawings and small B/W photos. We have entered the age of colour and a modern book should be printed in colour.