GFF book review

Fly Fishing California's Great Waters

Author: Dan Blanton
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Dan Blanton
Fly Fishing California's Great Waters
Frank Amato Publications, 2003

GFF rating: 5 out of 7

The book's pictures are great all the way through and a great asset, which is well utilized in its excellent layout.

Reviewed by Martin Joergensen

Dan Blanton hardly needs any introduction to most of GFF's readers, but anyhow: Blanton is the man behind the Fatal Attraction, a fly pattern that was amongst the first featured on this site way back when. He also originated such well-known flies as the Whistlers and the Sar-Mul-Mac. He has written about fly-fishing for decades and is well known amongst especially US salt water fly anglers. Dan Blanton also has his own web site.

Blanton's records also count several book titles and this is his latest epos from 2003.
The title indicates that the content might be interesting to a limited audience. Sure enough, limiting the scope of a book to one US state might seem like a very tight limit. But when that state is California things change dramatically. Few US states has fishing as diverse as California and even looking at the world's countries, you would probably find it hard to find so many vastly different opportunities within the borders of one country.

Blanton exposes 11 of the many locations and species found in the large state; both fresh and salt and both running and still.

Each location and each species is thoroughly covered in chapters spanning from four to eight pages. The text renders Blanton's personal experiences, practical advice, history and many other aspects of the location or area in question. Useful and entertaining both. Well written and easy to understand for even non-US readers. And as all good "where-to" fishing books with knowledge applicable to many other places than the ones covered.

Being a picture centred person I particularly enjoy the large number of very good colour pictures featured in each chapter. Traversing the state through these pictures alone is a great surrogate adventure. Not nearly like being there of course, but absolutely good enough to make you want to go - or return.

The book is not huge by any standards, but the eighty-some pages is enough to get you around and aroused.
The generous paper format compensates for the limited number of pages. And the price of the softbound copy - 20 US dollars - should deter no one from buying the book on a hunch. Real aficionados might want to depart of almost twice that sum - 35 dollars - to get the hardback version.

The last chapter features a bunch of Blanton's favorite flies.

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