Gary LaFontaine

Fly Fishing the Mountain Lakes

Reviewed by Martin Joergensen

GFF Rating: 5
Book cover   
Date: April 26th 1999

  • Gary LaFontaine
  • Fly Fishing the Mountain Lakes
  • ISBN 0-9626663-7-8
  • Published in 1998 by Greycliff Publishing Company, Montana
  • US$14.95
This is one of the funniest books I have read for quite a while. I laughed a lot while I read it - and learned a lot. Because this is also a very well written and concise instruction on high mountain lake fishing.

Gary LaFontaine should need no introduction. He is well known for his fly patterns, his books and his influence in the fly fishing and fly tying environment.
I knew LaFontaine only for the Sparkling Caddis Pupae before this, but have had to revise my image of him after having read this book. I had a notion that he was knowledgeable - that has been confirmed. LaFontaine knows his mountain lake fishing; seasons, tackle, tactics, flies... the works. But I had no idea that he was entertaining too. This book has taught me that.

Imagine a serious book where the smartest dog in the world and several pack goats - all named Rufus - play a major role! Such a book can't be boring. So be prepared for an entertaining and educating journey as LaFontaine takes you through the year of a high mountain lake freak.

LaFontaine teaches you the where's and why's. He teaches you when to start climbing if you want to hit that magic ice out moment. He teaches you the ups and downs of tricky mountain weather and winds and he teaches you what tackle and flies to use.

At the same time this book is so broad in its scope that any stillwater fisher can find useful information between its covers. LaFontaine actually refers to British stillwater fishing several times and emphasizes the importance of the many lessons he has learned from the British.
You will find all this and much more - including some very good arguments to choose a goat over a horse or mule to carry your stuff.

The book has a bit of a Gierarch tone. Lots of references to "me" and "my". I have never been a big Gierarch fan. With all due respect I'm sorry to announce that even though his writings are fun to read, they are just that and no more. I haven't learned much from the Gierarch books I have read. But reading my first LaFontaine book has taught me a lot. In spite of the similarity in style, there is a great difference in substance.

I might never have a chance to hit a mountain lake again (I have fished for Arctic Char over the ice edge in the North West Terretories), but if I ever do I will be a lot better prepared thanks to this book [*]. If I, on the other hand, don't... well, I will have had some good laughs with Mr. LaFontaine.

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I did actually get a chance to put some of the knowledge I gained from this book into work while fishing a lake in the Colorado Rockies. We brought no goats or dogs on the trip - only GFF partner Steve... but that may not have been so different after all.

User comments
From: Nic Ferguson · n_ferg·at·  Link
Submitted November 23rd 2009

one of the best books i`ve ever read an fished with it. from canada over france to switzerland and austria. gary helped me to catch them all - from rainbows to browns, brooks and namaycush. good book, good job!

Nic Ferguson

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