Cover image for The golden age of fly-fishing : the best of the Sportsman, 1927-1937
The golden age of fly-fishing : the best of the Sportsman, 1927-1937
Coykendall, Ralf W. (Ralf Wales), 1929-
Publication Information:
Woodstock, Vt. : Countryman Press ; New York : Distributed by Norton, [1997]

Physical Description:
173 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SH456 .G645 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



When Ralf Coykendall Jr. was but a gleam in his father's eye, Ralf Sr. was working as the advertising director of The Sportsman. Some 60 years later, the younger Coykendall--by now a noted sporting collectibles dealer and author in his own right--came across a stash of the long-defunct magazine in an attic. He recognized immediately what a treasure he'd found. From those yellowed pages he has selected this anthology of writings and drawings on fly-fishing--one of the fastest-growing sports in America today. All of them have aged well: There are a (surprisingly) few quaint references to long-ago equipment (the care and feeding of silk fly lines, for instance), but the strategies, flies, and fish-catching wisdom found here are as timely and illuminating as the day they were written. What has changed is tone: Each article is gracious, unhurried, and optimistic. Fly-fishing has changed little, it seems, but fly-fishers have changed much.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This collection of fly-fishing articles from the ten-year run of The Sportsman manages to be quirky, strange, interesting, and bad‘all in the space of 192 pages. As the introduction notes, the Sportsman was "published by wealthy men for their wealthy readers," and the selections are full of bad predictions, outdated tactics, primitive science, and condescending writing. Some well-known fly-fishing authors appear, most notably Eugene V. Connett III, John Alden Knight, and Edward Hewitt, and there are a few bright points: Knight's explanation of his development of the famous "Solunar Tables," an excellent Atlantic salmon article by Ashley Cooper Hewitt, and a description by Connett of fishing around rocks. Another potentially good addition, on hooks and silk line, is marred by the omission of the original tables. Ultimately, there is not enough of value here to recommend purchase.‘Jeff Grossman, Milwaukee Area Technical Coll. Lib., Oak Creek, Wis. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.