Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams - A Fly-Fishing Guide
Author: Harry W. Murray
Reviewed by Bruce E. Harang Overall, I don't like where-to-fish guidebooks. Most of them are poorly researched, poorly written, and generally useless. This volume, however, proves the exception to the rule. This is a book you will enjoy reading as well as one that will inform the visitor to Virginia about the best fly-fishing opportunities. The text is well written and well edited. The color reproductions are very well done and pleasing to look at. In addition, they compliment the text very well. This is another indication of good editing.
The major reason I like this book is that it not only covers the best trout streams, it also covers the best Smallmouth Bass streams in Virginia. Moreover, as Virginia has some of the finest Smallmouth Bass stream fishing in the world this volume is a real boon to the warmwater fly fisherman. Since the streams holding the best Smallmouth Bass populations tend to be rather large, the best way to fish them is to float sections of the stream. Here the author has done a wonderful job of giving the angler the necessary information to allow him to choose a float that meets his time constraints. It also provides detailed instructions on put-ins and take-outs and the significant obstacles in-between. These instructions are aided by enlarged inset diagrams of the actual take-out and put-in sites.
The best part of the trout stream portion of the book is the information for fishing these smaller streams during the whole year including the winter months when fishing is still good but large numbers of people are not present.
Each stream description includes up-to-date information on lodging; fly shops, information centers, canoe rentals, campgrounds and more. Finally, each stream has several photographs of it to give the reader an idea of the type of water and shoreline he will encounter.
Overall, the best of the "where to go" books out and well worth the cost.