Review: Fly Fishing On The Red
Author: Bill Willmert with John P Smith (Published by Bill Willmert, 2010, 160 pages) $23.99 http://www.stoneypointflies.com/book.html ( ISBN9781-452883465;)
Willmert & Smith reveal more guide secrets and insider advice per page than any fly fishing book you may ever see. Fly Fishing on The Red encompasses 50-decades of fly fishing experience with over 320 of those combined years focused on the living experts below Arkansas’ Greer’s Ferry Dam. River-specific guidebooks seldom reach so far beyond self-serving rhetoric to enlighten the savvy reader.
Author and guide, Bill Willmert, parlays his respectful relationships with16 superb guides in extracting detailed how-to for anglers. Willmert has held dozens of IGFA class tippet world-records, so he knows plenty about technical fly angling as he filters juicy insider information into concise writing. His interview style reads differently than prose and requires some accommodation. Certain brand-specific gear selection and preferences for use of wading staffs might distract from the meaty insights shared about this world class fishery.
Bill’s wife, Donna, relishes having displaced him from certain records. It is a bit disappointing to not have Donna Willmert’s advice included. Her input would travel well alongside the broad array of experts addressing the nuts and bolts of angling – artists, engineers, fisheries biologists, boat captains, champion competition anglers, inventors, educators, neurologists, soldiers and more — all pushing the limits to discover secrets of The Little Red. Contributors’ comments and answers to questions provide centuries of accumulated expertise. Bill Willmert wisely selected responses to caption their profile pictures — reading these excerpts easily serves as a solid fly angling foundation for anyone.
Willmert partnered with non-angling computer specialist, John P. Smith, to self-publish this brilliant gem. Smith comprehends fly fishermen as shown in his insightful forward. ”I now know it’s an affliction, and an addiction and a predisposition to catch bigger and better fish. It’s exactly the kind of sport that attracts hardcore individualists. . .” – Clearly, a unique passion for excellence landed on the 160-pages of this homespun, first book.
Notably, Fly Fishing The Red features detailed tying recipes and excellent photographs of guides’ 42-favorite flies. Willmert’s passion for tying reflects his exacting standards, transferred to high-quality images that honor his mentor, Royce Dam. Many of the patterns reflect traditional ties but, 19-original flies from these meticulous Little Red River experts debut here. Willmert’s well-travelled Deena fly graces the cover.
Visit the Stoney Point Flies website at http://www.stoneypointflies.com/book.html or E-mail Bill Willmert, [email protected] to get your keys to the home of the previous world-record Brown Trout (40-pounds, 4-ounces) and a shot at fly fishing Nirvana. You will also know who to consult when you get there. – Reviewed by Gary Eaton, MCI
Dr. Gary Eaton, MCI, writes on fly casting instruction for the Federation of Fly Fisher’s on-line guide, The LOOP. He fishes Arkansas’ Little Red River when not teaching or fishing in Missouri.
Fly Fishing on the Red