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Patagonia releases book on simple fly-fishing techniques

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Covers tenkara, rod and reel

Patagonia Books

From the outside, fly fishing can seem dauntingly complex, with all its high-tech gear and the myriad details of flies and tackle – much like modern life, one might argue.

But it’s the simplicity that draws many people to the sport – being outside, on the water, closer to nature.

In the new book, “Simple Fly Fishing,” released this April, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard joins Italian fly fisherman Mauro Mazzo and longtime West Yellowstone shop-owner and guide Craig Mathews to reveal the best way to catch trout: simply, with a rod and a fly and not much else.

The wisdom in the book comes from a simpler time when the premise was the more you know, the less you need. It teaches readers, from beginner anglers to master fishermen, how to discover where fish are, at what depth, and what they’re feeding on. Then it describes the techniques needed to present a fly at that depth, make it look lifelike, and hook the fish.

With chapters on wet flies, nymphs and dry flies, the authors employ both the tenkara rod – a 600-year-old Japanese setup requiring no reel – as well as traditional fly-fishing gear to cover all the bases. Illustrated by renowned fish artist James Prosek, with inspiring photographs and stories throughout, “Simple Fly Fishing” reveals the secrets and the soul of this captivating sport.

Chouinard was named “Angler of the Year” in 2009 by Fly, Rod, and Reel, and is the founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc. Along with Craig Mathews, Chouinard cofounded 1% for The Planet, a group of businesses giving back to the environment. He has authored two other best-selling books.

Mathews and his wife Jackie founded and own Blue Ribbon Flies, a retail fly-fishing outfitter based in West Yellowstone. He has authored five books on fly fishing in the western U.S. and Yellowstone National Park, and is renowned as an expert fishing guide.

A Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Master and Two-handed Certified Casting Instructor, Mazzo writes and photographs for European fly-fishing magazines and has fished around the globe from the Italian Alps to Himachal Pradesh, from Cuba to the Kola Peninsula.


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