Published May 17. 2008

Fly Fishing for Bonefish

Nick Lyons
Publishing year: 
Dick Brown
Reviewed by: 

Dick Brown's bonefishing book is a true classic, and one of the first ones that was recommended to me when I was taking on bonefish for the first time. The previous edition of this book was a great read, but already at the time where I read it in the late nineties, it was marked a bit by time and since the publishing of Kaufmann's and Fernandez' books it has stood somewhat in the shadow of not least the Kaufmann title with its modern, almost epic and very impressing appearance.

Not so any more!

Brown's book is now more than up to date, and has all the information as well as the looks now. Updated with more pages, even more facts, better layout and much better pictures, this has again become the classic it once was, and is a must-read for all who ventures off for bones - or wants to.

Brown's volume has similarities and differences compared to the two previously mentioned titles. It starts out with a short history of bonefishing, which is always interesting and sets the subject in perspective. The chapter "Understanding bonefish" is much like the biology chapter in Fernandez' book, and again I would prefer staRting out with less facts and more adventure. It's definitely extremely useful information, but I would love to be tickled with some fantastic stories about bonefishing accompanied by some appetizing pictures before I immersed myself in the more factual side of the fish as a species.

The real valuable parts of Brown's book are in my eyes the chapters about reading the water and seeing the fish. This is where bonefishing sets itself apart from other types of fishing, which I have done, and something I would have loved to read before I left on my first flats trip.

Dick Brown's flies are also worth a study. His approach is very pragmatic and the title of first fly-chapter - "Selecting bonefish flies" - tells you that this is a slightly different way of looking at flies. Brown talks a lot about "suggesting prey" and offers advice on how to get the fly to the bonefish - apart from casting it of course. A very sound and sensible way of looking at fly choice, rather than selecting specific patterns. There are patterns and advice on tying technique, hooks etc in a whole chapter with many material's listings and fly plates, so fear not.

Apart from these chapters you will find text on gear, personal equipment and clothing, casting, hooking, fighting and much, much more. Enough to keep you spellbound for days. The book's almost 350 pages are littered with great information and lovely illustrations. The pictures are top of the line and most of the drawings are scientific report grade - clean and very illustrative.

As I said: this is a worthy upgrade to an already great book, and surely my second favorite bonefishing book, only surpassed by Randal Kaufmann's stunning work from 2000.
At 40 US$ list price and available down to 25 US$ it's a steal. Kaufmann's sells new for 150 (sic!) and regarding bang for the buck, there's no comparison. Go for Brown.

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