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One of the best ways to get into any hobby or enhance one that you are already in is through books. I love fishing, in any way, shape, or form so it is only natural that I stuff my bookshelves with titles about the outdoors and fishing.
Trout can be a very tricky fish to pursue depending on certain circumstances and learning a few different techniques and strategies does not hurt. I love a good technique book that is written by a professional in the sport because you know you are getting good information.
Here in Montana, we have channel catfish in the Missouri River. To better fish for them, I learned a few tricks used for other species of catfish in the southern United States. A catfish is not a trout, I know, but is an excellent example of how literature can teach.
There are many books on fishing of all types, especially trout fishing, but we wanted to narrow it down a little for you and give you a list of 10 great trout fishing books that can enhance your knowledge of the species as well as your fishing skills.
There is a wealth of information to be found in these books for the beginner and the seasoned veteran angler as well. Hopefully, this list can help you or a friend in the field and make trout fishing your new favorite way to fish.
Joe Humphreys’s Trout Tactics
Joe Humphreys’s Trout tactics is a great book on fly fishing for trout that touches on many techniques ranging from what fly to use and the way to use it depending on the environmental factors around you. It is a classic, and standard piece of literature for trout fishing but has been updated and expanded as well.
This book would make a very suitable gift as it covers such a broad spectrum of information, which is great for all skill levels. I particularly like the information that covers entomology because I was taught the importance of understanding food sources for fish as a child.
As I stated earlier, this is a classic and aged book full of great information that you will find useful, but it is also updated to be a bit more modern with the current times. Fishing is a fluid thing that always changes, so a book that can adapt to that is always worth looking at.
The Orvis Guide to Prospecting for Trout
Anyone who has been in the fishing game long enough knows about Orvis and their excellent products. We talk quite a bit about them here on our site and for good reason. The Orvis Guide to Prospecting for Trout is a great read that breaks down trout fishing very well.
The emphasis of this book is how to fish trout when there is no hatch, which catches my attention right off the bat. Honestly, fishing for trout during the hatch is extremely easy here in Montana. You must simply pay attention to the entomology aspect of it all.
But what about fly fishing when there is no hatch? Well, that can be a little trickier. This work does a great job of explaining a few ways you can still catch fish year-round by using their other behaviors as a tool.
I would recommend this book to a friend who has a longer, colder winter season because insects are scarce in colder months. Some people hang their fly-fishing hat during the winter and this book aims to prevent that, That is why I like it and I think you will too.
Spin Fishing for Trout: Strategies and Tactics for Success
Leaving the realm of fly-fishing, we can easily understand that the trout game changes. Spin fishing requires a different approach and Spin Fishing for Trout delivers on this. Trout differ from other species such as bass and walleye, and they tend to have different behaviors.
Here in Montana, they tend to be more timid than other species and that can make them harder to catch. This book does a great job of explaining not just spinners and spoons, but also how to use them in different water bodies, which I find especially useful.
It was not designed to be a book for beginners in the art of spin fishing for trout as it contains tactics and methods used by professional anglers, so an introduction to a spin fishing book to coincide with it may be appropriate.
But for those who know the ins and outs of spin fishing, this is a good addition. Consider this book if you or a friend live in an area that has many different waterbody types such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and creeks.
Fly Fishing for Trout: The Next Level
Written for Orvis by Tom Rosenbauer, an authority on fly fishing with over 40 years of experience, the Fly Fishing for Trout is a good guide for those who already have some experience fly fishing. Many anglers get the basics down but struggle to get to that next level and this book aims to help you get there.
I like this as a sort of “step 2” to your fly-fishing abilities and can be a great gift for those who already practice the sport. One feature of this book that I like is that it contains QR codes that will take you to some of the best instructional videos you can watch for techniques and strategies.
Being relatively recently written in 2016 and containing things like the QR codes makes this a very modern book and would make a great gift for the young, technologically savvy angler. Orvis is a trusted name in angling and is a name that I refer to often for my own adventures and I think you will too.
Trout Fishing: The Tactical Secrets of Lake Fishing
Trout Fishing is a book that asks three simple questions to help you fish for trout. Where should I fish? When should I fish? How should I fish? I really like this simple approach to trout fishing because sometimes we tend to overcomplicate our strategies and make more work for ourselves than is necessary.
Basically, it is a straight-to-the-point book packed with information that is written for the average angler. Because of this simplicity, I highly recommend this to beginners in the sport as it will explain things very clearly.
Nothing turns a person away from a new sport or hobby faster than overcomplicated information. I nearly avoided backpacking because there was just too much complication involved when really, it was about a backpack, the right gear, and a trail that looked good. Because of this, I absolutely love anything simplified.
Sight Fishing for Trout
Remember seeing a bass under a log as a child? You try to quickly string a worm and dangle it in front of him, trying to tantalize him into striking? This starts a love for sight fishing which is a great way to enjoy the sport of fishing in general.
Sight Fishing for Trout is an excellent book that illustrates different techniques for sight fishing trout specifically. This is especially useful during peak seasons like the hatch and the spawn. The art of sight fishing requires a bit of leg work and, for that reason, you usually pack light.
Here, the author, Landon Mayer will explain not just the tactics he enjoys using but the gear he prefers, which I find especially useful for any beginners to this style of fishing. If you live in an area where trout fishing involves shallower water, then this style of fishing and this book is for you.
Artful Profiles of Trout, Char, and Salmon and the Flies That Catch Them
Big title, big book, means a wealth of information. Many species coincide together in families. When I was in college, we had to make a giant family tree of different species of gamefish in North America to learn about their relationships.
The Artful Profiles of Trout, Char, and Salmon is a good book that illustrates the species and their relationships with each other. I often fish here in Montana and back home in Washington as well and the tactics used for trout can be remarkably similar for both locations.
This title explains this well and can teach you what each species likes separately as well. The author, Dave Whitlock has also written other books on trout fishing specifically and has written for L.L. Bean.
I would recommend this to the angler that travels and would benefit from learning about the species rather than the locations. If you love trout fishing and learning, this will make a good addition to your bookshelf.
Dave Whitlock’s Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods
Another good read from Dave Whitlock on food sources for trout. Guide to Aquatic Trout Foods is a book for those who seek to improve their trout fishing game by understanding the biology of the trout and its family.
Springtime and hatch season are very crucial times to understand what is in this book and I recommend that you give this to a novice so they can get started in understanding the entomology involved. Aside from what insects trout eat, it also dives into the trout’s behavior when feeding.
Understanding how a trout feeds is a game-changer when fly fishing and can make the difference between a catch and leaving empty-handed. Another area that the book covers are imitation and why it is important.
Consider this book to go with another that covers the basics of trout fishing for a powerful duo that can really improve your trout fishing in many areas.
Steelhead Country: Angling for a Fish of Legend
Coming from a small tribe on coastal rivers in the pacific northwest, I can tell you that the steelhead is one of the most amazing fish you will ever catch. They fight like you would not believe and are the best-eating fish I have ever had.
Steelhead Country is a book to get the reader excited about this species and illustrates my native home beautifully. Steve Raymond wrote this on his own love for the Pacific Northwest and the pursuit of this fish with passion.
If you are looking for a more relaxed reading with less technical stuff, this collection of stories is a great armchair read that you will thoroughly enjoy. Consider this as a gift for the story lover and reader in your family and maybe they will get hooked on fishing.
Trout an Illustrated History
This one is for the artistic angler that loves the natural beauty of the trout. Trout: An Illustrated History contains over 40 watercolor paintings of trout to embolden the beauty of the species. The author and artist, James Prosek has a love for trout and fishing and it shows in this book.
Consider this book for the artist, the angler that loves not only the chase of trout fishing but the appeal and the beauty of the fish. Trout are a beautiful animal with vibrant colors and patterns that change and match the seasons.
The first trout I caught when I arrived in Montana as a child was a cutthroat trout in Yellowstone National Park. I still remember the vibrant colors and uniqueness of that fish. This memorializes the species as a whole and therefore I am happy to recommend it.
Why Read Books About Trout Fishing?
Well, simply put, trout and their family members are some of the most abundant sportfish to pursue and there is a wealth of information out there to help you in that endeavor. Trout are an amazing fish that will take you to amazing places in their pursuit.
I found my love for trout in the boggy rivers of Washington’s coast. The Stillaguamish and Skagit rivers were my playground for pursuing steelhead and when I came to Montana – a whole new scale of trout fishing opened to me.
These books, I hope, will serve as a guide for you, to better understand the ins and outs of one of my favorite fish species and their natural beauty. These works of literature are created by passionate individuals who know their stuff and that makes them invaluable to you as a trout angler and an asset to your library, so check them out and get a leg up on your next adventure!
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