Published Jul 1. 2024 - 2 weeks ago
Updated or edited Jul 3. 2024

Book review: Fly Fishing for Trophy Striped Bass

Tackle, techniques, and flies for the fish of a lifetime

Any striper angler will want to spend a day fishing with the author after reading this book

John L. Field
Stackpole Books
Publishing year: 
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This fish is greatly appreciated by many fly fishermen on the East Atlantic Coast, both American and Canadian. That’s the clientele targeted by the author John L. Field, writer, photographer and fly fishing instructor. He published this very interesting book in June 2024. Its objective is to help the angler catch “the fish of a lifetime” on a fly.

Divided into six chapters, this 268-page book is well illustrated with photos, drawings and nautical charts.
In a systematic and detailed manner it presents the biology of Striped Bass, flies and equipment for catching large bass, casting techniques, boat fishing and wading, and approach strategies for each of the four major areas which he identifies.
The last chapter takes up almost half of the book and constitutes a real gem of detailed and precise information, identifying the best fishing spots on the East Coast. The wealth of information in this chapter shows that Field has devoted thousands of hours of research, site visits, hours of fishing and testing.

Another quality of this book lies in the fact that the author did not hesitate to involve a large number of specialists - biologists, fishermen, guides, photographers, and others - who, through their contribution, give a lot of credibility to the book. These contributions also have an impact on the quality of the presentation and the text.

The chapters on the prey of the bass and on the imitations to use for fishing deserve the grade A+. I have never seen so much relevant information in a book on this subject. That's the challenge that John took on, helping the fly fisherman catch big striped bass on flies designed specifically for them. For this reason alone, this book is worth the US$50 needed to acquire a copy.

The chapter on equipment and casting techniques reflects the author's knowledge and experience in this area. It could be used to teach saltwater fly fishing to novices and experienced anglers alike.
This is not the first book on striped bass and certainly not the last one, because this fish is so popular among fly fishermen. On the other hand, Field has set a standard of quality in the content that will be difficult to match for a book on fly fishing for this species.

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting John L. Field, but I would like to spend a day fishing with him... that's what any striper angler will say to himself after reading his book.


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