Published Mar 29. 2006 - 16 years ago
Updated or edited Sep 13. 2015

Book review: Fly Waters Near & Far

Photography beyond belief! This is a book for sore eyes and a fly fishing photographer's wet dream.

Barry & Cathy Beck
Stackpole Books
Publishing year: 
Reviewed by: 

I have been lucky enough to fish quite a lot of places in this world, and generally consider myself a well-travelled fly fisher. Having been north and south, west and east I feel that I live up to the name we have given this site.

This book makes me humble in that respect.

Barry and Cathy Beck have been more places than I have. A lot more places! And they have been more places than most travelling fly fishers I know. The book documents this fact beyond any doubt. Open it and be ready to circumnavigate the planet.

And I admit it: I didn't spend much time reading the first time I opened the book. I will explain why in a minute.

The first bit of text my eyes fastened on were the words "A visual journey". A visual journey indeed... and then some.
The recent evenings I have been leafing through it times and times again, and I have been on a visual journey. I have journeyed with the Beck's to most parts of the world. The Beck's have travelled to all corners of the world with their rods and cameras, and you can go to the distant tropics as well as more homely waters almost no matter where you live. There are destinations on most continents, which are visited in this volume.

The book does contain text, and does offer some reading, but it's not a how-to or a where-to book. You won't find detailed advice on lodges, transportation, currency and tipping customs. Neither will you be able to get recommendations on gear, fly choice or fishing methods. That is not the aim of this book. It is indisputably a visual journey.

My trip through it has been very visual, supported by the extremely good photography. And I say extremely good because the pictures used are way beyond the quality that we normally see in fly angling books.
That is why I was so mesmerized by the book that I hardly read a word apart from some captions on my first few times opening the book. The Beck's are nature and fishing photographers beyond excellence. Their pictures spellbind, and the fact that they have been to all the places that most of us would give a limb to go to, doesn't make it less attractive. A few of the pages are just a bit on the overwhelming side like the collections of sunrises and sunsets. I love images of the sun rising and setting, but a whole page full or more can be just a bit "too-much-of-a-good-thing".

Apart from the very insignificant blotches like that, there is no finger to be put on this immaculate product. The layout is well balanced and helps promote the pictures, the typography is subdued and tasteful without being over-designed and the whole thing is very harmonic.

This book maintains a level so high that it deserves a Global Class score.

It's an angler's dream come through on paper.


This is top notch bo...

This is top notch book and I agree with your observations. One thing however, that soon began to annoy me was the "Cathy-text" (like here is Cathy fighting... Here Cathy releases... Cathy makes the last cast... Cathy makes a long casts...) It was simply too much, but again, this is a photo journey, so skip the acompaning text and enjoy :-)


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