The warm weather and waters in Montana this summer have limited the trout-fishing opportunities recently. So I perused my library shelves, and plucked Art Lee’s “Lore of Trout Fishing” off the shelf. Art served as editor-at-large for “Fly Fisherman”, “The Atlantic Salmon Journal”, and “Wild Steelhead & Salmon”. He contributed to the fly fishing literature for over forty years, writing two books and inumerable articles. In 2010, he was inducted into the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum and Hall of Fame.
The “Lore of Trout Fishing” is a collection of the author’s best columns for “Fly Fisherman”. Although published in 1999, it remains relevant today. Mostly a “how to” book, the essays explore techniques of presentation, casting, stream strategies, hatches, imitative fly patterns, and reflect upon a life of fly fishing. Some of his observations were original at the time of their publication, but over time, have been forgotten or overlooked. Rereading this book has piqued my interest, and provided some fresh food for thought.
In the essay on fishing trico spinner falls, he reveals his inquisitive, scientific mind. Perplexed by so many refusals, he carefully sought answers. The surprising discovery was that many fish were actually feeding on egg sacs deposited in the water column, not spinners. In response, he tied up some egg patterns, and increased his hook-ups. As he reflected on this, he conluded-
“On the other hand, for those to whom the essence of fly fishing is a continuing quest for answers, and particularly those for whom the problem is the thing, to become an egghead is right up your alley.”
Art is both a consummate trout angler and superb writer. The “Lore of Trout Fishing” is well worth the read.
written by Al Simpson, September 2017.