Small Fry: The Lure of the Little

Published Nov 3rd 2008

Chapter 11: Epilogue: Further Reading


Books - Center: Philadelphia on the Fly: Tales of an Urban Angler by ron P. swegman
Right: The Autobiography of Dr. James Alexander Henshall: The Father of Bass Fishing in America by Clyde E. Drury
Left: My River: A Memoir by Richard Kenneth Strearns
The seasons of an angler follow the universal circuit of the year in a very personal way. My own fishing year always begins during those February and March mornings when the pale winter sunshine floods through my apartment's windows. The impending spring can be felt within that warm and optimistic light. Inspiration follows and coalesces into action. I first set up my fly tying vise, either in my kitchen nook or in my writing corner, and then pull a few favorite fishing titles from my bookshelves. I nibble at these books in between the tying -- a chapter here, a story there -- and by the time opening day arrives, usually in early April, I rise early with a full fly box to meet the water and a full mind, refreshed by reading, ready for the realities of rod and reeling.

    When thinking about reading and writing, I am also drawn to the home of the book: the library. This institution has been a constant throughout my life. Carnegie on Pittsburgh 's north side was my babysitter and tutor during grade school days. Pattee at Penn State offered me my first job as well as full exposure to the art and craft of poetry, which has informed my writing now for over two decades. Van Pelt and Scott Memorial in Philadelphia have been the foundation of my career in library services. Given this ongoing presence of the library in my life, it seems fitting to end this book with a little list of titles for further reading; an online library of fishing books that touch on some of the themes found within Small Fry: The Lure of the Little.

Druke, Allen, Fly & Bubble Fishing Techniques, Frank Amato Publications, 2000.
ISBN: 1571882049
This book investigates an interesting fly-fishing technique and includes an excellent chapter on taking kids fishing.

Drury, Clyde E., The Autobiography of Dr. James Alexander Henshall: The Father of Bass Fishing in America, The Whitefish Press, 2007.
A contemporary authority on the black bass edited this volume of Dr. James Alexander Henshall; the Nineteenth Century gentleman who first brought sport fishing for black bass to the American audience.

Ellis, Jack, The Sunfishes, The Lyons Press, 1995.
ISBN: 1558213562
This is a comprehensive guide to sport angling for the sunfish family.

Engle, Ed, Fishing Small Flies, Stackpole Books, 2005.
ISBN: 0811701247
A master fly tier and guide describes how to effectively fish diminutive fly patterns.

Engle, Ed, Tying Small Flies, Stackpole Books, 2004.
ISBN: 0811700828
A book that clearly explains the value of small flies and the challenges encountered when tying these patterns.

Fichter, George S. and Francis, Phil, Fishing, Golden Books Publishing Company, 1987.
This little book is a classic primer for all sport angling.

Genova, Phil, First Cast: Teaching Kids to Fly-Fish, Stackpole Books, 1998.
ISBN: 0811727610
This book, at 300 + pages, may be the most thorough treatment on the subject.

Gierach, John, Fly-Fishing Small Streams, Stackpole Books, 1989.
ISBN: 0811722902
This book is full of small stream wisdom and wit from one of America's master fly fishers and storytellers.

Gifford, John, Small Stream Bass, The Countryman Press, 2002.
ISBN: 0881505250
This is a good general guide to all small stream bass fishing.

Hughes, David, Trout from Small Streams, Stackpole Books, 2003.
ISBN: 0811700313
Practical stories about the trout that call small streams home.

Larson, Todd E.A., The History of the Fish Hook in America: An Illustrated Overview of the Origins, Development, and Manufacture of the American Fish Hook, The Whitefish Press, 2007.
An authoritative investigation and exploration of the American fish hook.

Meck, Charles, Fishing Small Streams with a Fly Rod, The Countryman Press, 1991.
ISBN: 0881502022
A Pennsylvania legend of the long rod shares his method of fly-fishing small streams.

Morgan, Jeff, Small-Stream Fly Fishing, Frank Amato Publications, 2005.
ISBN: 1571883460
A full-color primer on the big advantages of small streams.

Murray, Harry W., Fly-fishing for Smallmouth Bass, The Lyons Press, 1996.
ISBN: 1558215344
This guide remains the definitive word on all aspects of smallmouth bass angling on the fly.

Murray, Harry W., Trout Stream Fly-Fishing, Frank Amato Publications, 2003.
ISBN: 1571882812
This handy little book is full of advice on reading the water, fly selection, and fly presentation that will be useful to any angler who plans to fish for brook trout in small streams.

Stearns, Richard, My River: A Memoir, BookSurge Publishing, 2008.
ISBN: 1419689401
An engaging memoir about the role fishing has played within one angler's wide-ranging life.

Tertuliani, John, Smallmouth Bass and Streams: Thoughts on Fly-Fishing, Lotic Books, 2004.
ISBN: 0976115905
This book includes a great chapter on thinking small.

Walton, Izaak, The Compleat Angler, Collier Books, 1962.
Walton's advice on the trout and the chub is still useful to all anglers.

Wilson, Roxanne and Terry, Bluegill Fishing & Flies, Frank Amato Publications, 1999.
ISBN: 157188176X
This is the definitive guide to more and larger bluegills.

Ames, Thomas Jr., "A Fly for All Seasons: The Partridge and Orange," Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, Autumn 2005.
An article about the origin and development of the Partridge and Orange soft-hackled fly.

Ames, Thomas Jr., "Tales of the Great Pumpkin," Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, Autumn 2005.
An article about the Great Brown Autumn Sedge and its imitations.

Foster, David C., "When the Honeysuckle Breathes," Gray's Sporting Journal, May/June 2005.
A photo essay on fly-fishing for redbreast sunfish.

Purser, Phillip A., "The Sunfish of Summer," Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, Summer 2005.
An article on fly-fishing strategies for sunfish, especially those residing in southern U.S. waters.

Whitlock, Dave, "Discovery," Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, Spring 2004.
An inspiring essay on the joys and merits of branching out to other, sometimes smaller, fish species.

Whitlock, Dave, "Shrinking Waters: Options and Alternatives," Fly Fishing & Tying Journal, Summer 2002.
An essay that includes thoughts on the pursuit of understudied fish species.

ron P. swegman would like to thank -- for moral, technical, and piscatorial support -- the following fine folks: Maryann Amici, Chris Braster, Patrick Eisenhauer, Samantha Kavky, Kimberly Maxwell, John Mutone, Oliver C. Shell, James A. Stewart, Chamyang "Wojo" Unkow, Leonard Reuter & Janet (Follmeyer) Reuter, Greg Smith & Yui Murai-Smith.

    And to my immediate and extended family, who all appear as characters throughout this book: Thank you all for allowing me to share our family's fishing mythology.

    Finally, to Martin Joergensen, editor and master of Global FlyFisher, who believed in this project from my initial proposal to this final, fitting phrase: The End.

All chapters of Small Fry
  • Small Fry, intro - Prologue: These Lines, published June 16th 2008
  • Small Fry, 1 - Chapter 1: The Lure of the Little, published June 16th 2008
  • Small Fry, 2 - Chapter 2: Presenting Brookus bassa; The Smallmouth, published June 30th 2008
  • Small Fry, 3 - Chapter 3: Presenting Rob-fin redbreast; The Stream Sunfish, published July 14th 2008
  • Small Fry, 4 - Chapter 4, Presenting Solid rocky; The Punk Rock Bass, published July 28th 2008
  • Small Fry, 5 - Chapter 5: Presenting White lightning; The Tidal River Perch, published August 11th 2008
  • Small Fry, 6 - Chapter 6: Presenting Mighty minnows; The Chub Family, published August 25th 2008
  • Small Fry, 7 - Chapter 7: Presenting Small wonder; The Mountain Brook Trout, published September 8th 2008
  • Small Fry, 8 - Chapter 8: Scaled-down Gear, published September 22nd 2008
  • Small Fry, 9 - Chapter 9: Thoughts on Knots, published October 6th 2008
  • Small Fry, 10 - Chapter 10: The Little Angler, published October 20th 2008
  • Small Fry, 11 - Chapter 11: Epilogue: Further Reading, published November 3rd 2008

    The chapters are being published with a couple of weeks inbetween.
    When new chapters are ready, they are first announced and then linked from here.

  • User comments
    From: David Swart · davidaswart·at·  Link
    Submitted May 18th 2011

    2 things great story I introduced many folks to fly fishing by taking them to small water & fishing for panfish or bass,my favorite fly for these little buggers is a black body,grizzly hackle,red tailed woolly worm #12 or 10 (non-weighted),love the simple fish.

    From: Nycflyangler  Link
    Submitted November 18th 2009

    This reminds me of the little Vermont brook that runs through my friend's family farm that we fished while we were growing up. Maybe two to three feet wide at it's widest point, it had a good supply of brook trout of the 5 to 8 inch class. Just dap a dry fly across the surface of the water or drift a nymph and let it be pulled by the current under the undercut bank. Then pull it out with one of these little gems attached. They were small and colorful and perfect, just like all trout should be.

    I've caught and have seen much bigger specimens, but some of these trophy trout with their distended bellies are kind of ugly when compared to these jewels of nature you can only find in these tiny brooks that come down from the mountains to feed larger bodies of water.

    It's important to always remember that both ends of the size spectrum are trophies, they just have different criteria.

    From: Boyan · pbojan·at·  Link
    Submitted September 9th 2008

    Instead of comments, all I'd like to say is that I'm impatiently looking forward Chapter 8... :)

    From: rybolov · rybolov·at·  Link
    Submitted August 17th 2008

    My not-so-secret recipe for redbreasties is a #12/10 stimulator or hopper with a #14/16 beaded hares ear dropper. Very much the Western-style approach to catching fish. =)

    From: Eric · ericsabo·at·  Link
    Submitted August 11th 2008

    Chapter 2 really inspired me to get back out to a spot I had visited (and gotten skunked at) over the winter.

    I got out there today with some big time success - including a surprisingly large 14" smallmouth from a pool that was no more than 15 feet wide when the rest of the creek was only between 6 and 8 feet wide. It was like tail-water fishing for trout... except the fish pulled a lot harder.

    So, thank you for the inspiration.

    From: Bernard Yin · LARiver·at·  Link
    Submitted August 1st 2008

    WOW I love this entry. As a musician myself, I was on tour and while somewhere in the south (US) our bus broke down. We were near a small store and a large field. In that field was a farm pond. I went to take a look and spooked a massive largemouth! I ran back to the store and bought a small jig (I had no choice) and a spool of line and walked back out to the pond. It was hot and humid and the insects were loud. I crawled out on a fallen tree branch and lobbed the jig out and caught a beautiful Rock Bass. What a neat species of fish. I will probably be re-playing that moment every day for the rest of my live. Rock and Roll!

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