Paul Schullery - The Rise

Stackpole Books $26.95
ISBN 978-0811701822

Uk price £19.95

This one is a classic that people will be referring to fifty years from now. Paul Schullery is a prolific writer on the American West, with the definitive history of fly fishing in the US to his credit, but The Rise is a big departure for him, as this is the first time I can remember Paul writing anything approaching a textbook on fishing.

How can something so good be written about a subject that has apparently been done to death? Well, for all the time, effort and words that have been spent on the analysis of trout riseforms, much of what has been printed in the past is based on speculation, rather than observation. To make matters worse, each new generation of authors has borrowed from the one that preceded it, with the result that mistakes have been repeated and in some cases, compounded, so that for example in the late twenties Eric Taverner could quote sixteen different types of rise form without batting an eyelid. With dogma so deeply entrenched, there is plenty of room for a new approach to the subject and true to form, Paul does not disappoint, treating the reader to the best set of pictures I have ever seen of trout rising to naturals, before explaining what you are seeing with the aid of a good old-fashioned bit of science. By the time the author begins a demolition job on current thinking about hooks and leaders the old boys will be ready to drum him out of the club, but I can’t find fault with any of it and if you are looking for some new ideas on fly fishing, this is the only game in town.