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Fly fishing is an ancient and contemporary sport with a passionate following. Many anecdotal, philosophical, travelogue, and how-to books are written each year, but few books delve into its rich history. Paul Schullery writes the exceptions. He has written several books on the history and culture of fly fishing, the first and most comprehensive being, American fly fishing: a history.
The book begins by discussing the origins of fly fishing with attempts to date the earliest known occurences and its transport to America courtesy of the British. The evolving trail becomes easier with the development of "sporting journalism" in the early 1800s, particularly William Trotter Porter and his publication, Spirit of the Times. Mr. Schullery goes on to trace the evolution in tackle and flies and introduces many of the giants in American fly fishing including: Thaddeus Norris, Theodore Gordon, Preston Jennings, Vincent Marinaro, and many more. The book is a delightful read for anyone interested in the sport of fly fishing and a must have for anyone truly interested in the history and evolution of the sport in America. In addition the book is well indexed and includes an excellent bibliography for further reading.
Paul Schullery served as executive director of the American Museum of Fly Fishing from 1977 to 1982. His five years there gave him an un-buffered view of the treasures of the museum and a wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from practitioners and enthusiasts. He held various positions with the National Park Service in Yellowstone before retiring in 2008. He is currently the scholar-in-residence at Montana State University's Renne Library.
Special thanks to Abe Lillard for recently donating this book (and many, many more!)
Special Collections Manager
Paul Schullery Interview