Published Mar 29. 2006 - 16 years ago
Updated or edited Sep 1. 2016

Book review: Fly Fishing the Great Western Rivers

A genuine coffee table book. Extremely beautiful and with some really entertaining and informative text. The author, Ralph Kylloe, has his own web page. He works with furniture and interior decoration, which explains the focus on insides of lodges in the book. Find the book here on the publisher's web site

Ralph Kylloe
Gibbs Smith
Publishing year: 
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Some books just have it all: great images, well written text, large format, beautiful typography and all the nice graphic details. But very few have gold print.

This one has! And it deserves it.

Fly Fishing the Great Western Rivers is a book with a seemingly narrow scope, as the title might imply, but since it covers streams from Alaska to California, it still manages to widen its view of this potentially limited subject. Now, I know that people who fish these rivers would probably immediately tell me that it is not at all a limited subject. I actually knew that already, but the book at hand has further strengthened that knowledge.

The author is professional inasmuch as he has spent a lot of time decorating many of the lodges he mentions in the book. And as well as writing the text, Kylloe has also shot all the excellent photographs. Not surprisingly the book does have more detailed interior and exterior shots of lodges than the average fishing book, but the vast majority of the images are of more traditional fishing subjects such as streams, fish, flies and anglers. To some the pictures of interiors and lodges may seem too much non-fishing related, but I personally find it a welcome variation over the many aspects of fishing, which are nicely covered anyway. At the same time the book has so many other strong points that it is easy to forgive the bias towards pitching these lodges in slightly sales-like manner.

Kylloe is a great storyteller and manages to convey one entertaining anecdote after the other. You are constantly shifting between chuckles and being envious when reading, and at the same time enjoying the images and the beauty of both the book itself and the streams, the scenery and the interiors.

This is a coffee table book if I ever saw one, but don't let the good looks fool you: there's a lot to learn from this book and days if not weeks of entertainment. And it definitely deserves our highest esteem - a global class verdict.


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